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Anomie is a condition delineated by Émile Durkheim (1858–1917). It is closely related to his thinking on the collective conscience. The collective conscience, for Durkheim, represents the common morality, or more specifically, shared understandings, beliefs, norms, and values. In mechanical solidarity, it was strong and was a powerful binding force on people, but it has come to be weakened with the transition to organic solidarity. When this common morality is weakened, one of the things that happens is that people become unclear as to what is appropriate and what is inappropriate behavior; they feel a sense of normlessness and rootlessness. In other words, this lack of clear moral guidelines leaves people with a sense of anomie. Thus, anomie is a condition associated with organic solidarity ...

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