Sociology Index


Anomic division of labour is found where the division of labour in the workplace is based on power, social, and economic status, rather than on differentiations of individual ability or effort. In such circumstances, according to David Emile Durkheim, the division of labour cannot command normative consensus and may become a source of anomie and breakdown of social solidarity. Only in folk society there is no anomic division of labour. Durkheim first employed the concept of anomie in his doctoral thesis 'The Division Of Labor In Society' in which he devoted a chapter to the "anomic division of labour." To overcome the anomic division of labor we must first determine the conditions essential to the normal state of organic solidarity.

It is difficult to share Durkheim's confidence in the self-regulating quality of organic solidarity. Durkheim's account of the anomic division of labor alone, for example, exposed all the evils of unregulated capitalism, commercial and industrial crises, class conflict, meaningless, alienated labor, etc.

From Anomie to Anomia and Anomic Depression: A Sociological Critique on the Use of Anomie in Psychiatric Research - Mathieu Deflem. Abstract: The author of this paper demonstrates that the sociological concept of anomie has undergone important transformations when applied in psychiatric research. Under exceptional circumstances, that is, when all the conditions for the existence of organic solidarity have not been realized, the division of labour presents pathological or anomic forms. It is argued that these transformations are not fully in concordance with the original theories of anomie as they were set forth by Durkheim and Robert King Merton.

The concept of anomia as introduced and applied in the research of Leo Srole is discussed. A lack of mutual adjustment among the parts of the social organism which Durkheim called the anomic division of labor, citing certain commercial and industrial crises, the conflict between capital and labor, and the "scholastic" specialization of scientific investigation among its examples.

The difficulty with the anomic division of labor, of course, is that such rules either do not exist or are not in accord with the degree of development of the division of labor. Durkheim argues that under normal circumstances the division of labour produces social organic solidarity. The conditions for the existence of organic solidarity are two-fold: first, there should be a system of solidary organs, and, second, the way in which these organs come together must be predetermined, that is, regulated by a set of rules.

The Anomic Division of Labour
Extracts from Emile Durkheim - Book 3 Chapter One: The Anomic Division of Labour.
Abnormal forms where the division of labour does not produce solidarity. Necessity for studying them. 
1. Abnormal cases in economic life; industrial crises more frequent as labour is divided; antagonism of labour and capital. Likewise, the unit of science is lost as scientific labour becomes specialised. 
2. Theory which makes these effects inherent in the division of labour. According to Auguste Comte, the remedy consists in a great development of the governmental organ and in the institution of a philosophy of the sciences. Inability of the governmental organ to regulate the details of economic life. 
3. If, in these cases, functions do not concur, it is because their relations are not regulated; the division of labour is anomic. Necessity of regulation. How, normally, it comes from the division of labour. How it fails in the examples cited.