Culture in today's world in a state of polarized anomie

When Émile Durkheim wrote on the concept of anomie (expanding on Jean-Marie Guyau’s work) in his 1897 book Suicide, he spoke of one end of anomie: a society with too much rigidity and little individual discretion causing a destructive mismatch (moral deregulation and an absence of legitimate aspirations).

This is happening in the XXI century world, in many countries: those totalitarian (military or religious) societies where the social rule, expectations, and repression conform a cage around individuals, deposessing them of their individuality, their aspirations, subtly (or otherwise) imposing a social corset where the individual can not be itself, concentrating only on breathing, surviving.

But, on the other side of the spectrum, in many other countries (and more surprisingly and hypocritically, in many of those described above) the opposite also leads to anomie: the lack of social coherence, with the vanishing of values, identity, and a group project to contribute to. Places where institutions loose their credibility in a sea of corruption, double talk, and abuse. Where groups’ concerns are only objectual (money, possessions, looks) but never include the individual, the person.

Left or right, up or down, too-rigid or non-existant values… forces pulling us appart. Polarized forces tearing us down. Forces which can only lead to one exit…

One thought on “Culture in today's world in a state of polarized anomie

  • January 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm
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    Tienes mucha razón. Vivimos tiempos duros. Otros semióticos hablan del “individuo fragmentado”, falto de conciencia histórica y esclavizado por sistemas perversos (llámale neo-liberalismo o social-democracia, si lo quieres light) que lo quieren adormecido, insolidario y frustrado… y lo consiguen. Opino, como muchos, que la salvación pasa por la educación de los niños, pero mientras ésta siga en manos de los mismos cancerberos, a los adultos sólo no queda seguir manteniendo los ojos y la razón alertas, no dejar de pelear cada cuál con sus pobres armas, no olvidar el verdadero sentido de tantas palabras hoy prostituidas y correr la voz de que otro mundo es posible. Tú ya lo haces, amigo: nunca te rindas. Un abrazo.

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