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"Anomie" or a condition of normlessness

2 min read

From Wikipedia:

Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is "the condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals".  Anomie may evolve from conflict of belief systems  and causes breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community (both economic and primary socialization). In a person this can progress into a dysfunction in ability to integrate within normative situations of their social world - e.g., an unruly personal scenario that results in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of values

Anomie In literature, film, and theatre 

In Albert Camus's existentialist novel The Stranger, the bored, alienated protagonist Meursault struggles to construct an individual system of values as he responds to the disappearance of the old. He exists largely in a state of anomie,[21] as seen from the apathy evinced in the opening lines: "Aujourd’hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas" ("Today mum died. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know").

Fyodor Dostoyevsky expressed a similar concern about anomie in his novel The Brothers KaramazovThe Grand Inquisitor remarks that in the absence of God and immortal life, everything would be lawful.  In other words, that any act becomes thinkable, that there is no moral compass, which leads to apathy and detachment.