Thesis: Anomie and the Modern Division of Labor

Sample Thesis Paper

In anomie and the Modern Division of Labor, Emile Durkheim speaks of a condition where social or moral norms are simply not present, leading to the presence of deviant behavior. He says that the concept of ethics is fundamentally a flawed one. Since it does not provide a specific description of what is morally correct and what is dubious in nature. People can undertake immoral tasks which in normal circumstances would be frowned upon. But here they are free to do as they wish, as long as their actions nestle the boundaries between what is ethical and unethical.

According to Durkheim, it is through this state of affairs that forces in the economic world weaken themselves into nothingness. He says that the only way for these forces to survive is to be at equilibrium with each other. If they are constantly trapped in such morally gray areas, survival of the fittest becomes the norm. Such an environment is unhealthy and anachronistic and is against the best interests of society.

Where once economics was a secondary consideration, it is now considered to be the primary. This has resulted in economics leaving behind once important considerations such as administration, military and religious functions. The only function which seems to rally against economics is one of science. Unfortunately, today even science is based on practical applications which are dependent on economics. Thus, the area of economics has taken over the lives of several individuals. This leaves them in the same morally ambiguous place as the economic functions which affect them. Ending the essay the author speaks of the importance of finding ways out of this situation before such moral quandaries succeed in diminishing our collective morality.

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