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Compare and contrast the concepts of Anomie and Alienation.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the concepts of Anomie and Alienation. In order to answer the question posed, it is important to firstly define what is meant by the two important terms, I can then both compare and contrast Anomie and Alienation and discuss some of the complex issues surrounding both. Alienation is seen to be the separation from oneself, other individuals, society, or work. Some sociologists believe that alienation is inevitably produced not by the individual but by the shallowness and the lack of individuality of modern society. The concept of alienation has been held to account for behaviour patterns as diverse as motiveless violence and total immobility. Alienation is a state in which the creations of humanity appear to humans as alien objects. People create their own society but remain alienated until they recognise themselves within their own creation. Until this time people will assign an independent existence to objects, ideas and institutions and be controlled by them. In the process they lose themselves, become strangers in the world they created: they become alienated. ...read more.

Middle

Such behaviour indicates a breakdown of normative control. According to Blauner (1964) alienation has four different dimensions: Powerlessness which happens to individuals who feel that they cannot their own actions, Meaninglessness when people have little or no sense of value, worth or interest, Isolation happens to individuals who cannot identify to their surroundings, and people who have no sense of involvement especially in their workplace are seen as self-estranged. Similar to alienation Marshall B. Clinard stated that anomie is "a sense of confusion and (is when) people become disorientated from their world". On the contrary to alienation, anomie in the industrial society causes people to become restless and dissatisfied. Since people have so many demands and expectations, they want more than what they already have, consequently when the individuals do actually gain what they previously sought after they still obsess for further improvements. Increasing wealth developing from the economic expansion makes a situation sharper. The steady increase in human control over nature is a reason why there has been a progressive development in the means of production. ...read more.

Conclusion

I have tried to show the concepts of alienation and anomie with the help of some of the writings from Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx. There are a number of differences for example; Anomie is related to suicide and how people are tied and not 'free' from the modern competitive market, whereas Alienation is the feeling of separation from their work and they feel more of a spare part rather than an employee. Equally Anomie and Alienation are believed to be a result from industrialised capitalism; they are the outcome of pointless tasks, economic domination and exploitation. Both have a sensation of the inner-self boredom wanting more than what they already have and will never seem satisfied with what they get. Both Durkheim and Marx have many valid ideas, and their perception provide a detailed insight into the nature of Anomie and Alienation. However their work shows that their arguments are not always regular and rational which in turn can cause confusion with the points in that they make. ...read more.

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