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  A term introduced by the French sociologist Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) to denote a societal condition in which normative standards are absent. Individuals have no widely-accepted behavioural guidelines in such contexts and may be faced by two or more very contrasting, even contradictory, sets of norms which create confusion and stimulate problems of Identity. (Anomie is sometimes mistakenly equated with alienation, a state of individual estrangement which may exist outside an anomic society). According to the adherents of the Chicago school, behaviours characteristic of social disorganization (such as crime, violence and suicide) are likely to be present where anomie exists, notably in inner-city and slum areas (cf. zonal model). (RJJ)  



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