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Anomie or Social Chaos: An Inquiry about the Potential of Anomie in Tehran [Anomi ya Ashoftegi-ha-ye Ejtema'I; Pajuheshi darbare-ye Potansiyel-e Anomi dar Tehran]

Faramarz Rafi’pur. Anomie or Social Chaos; An Inquiry about the Potential of Anomie in Tehran [Anomi ya Ashoftegi-ha-ye Ejtema’I; Pajuheshi darbare-ye Potansiyel-e Anomi  dar Tehran]. Tehran: Sherkat-e Sorush (1378 [1999-2000]).

This book seeks to answer three main questions: Do anomie and violating norms  exist in Iranian society? If anomie exists, do we observe it about all norms or some particular ones? What factors produce anomie in society?

In the theoretical section, after reviewing different theories of anomie, the author suggests that these theories are insufficient to analyze different aspects of anomie in third world countries. He distinguishes between formal and informal norms, and hypothesizes that in Iran violating norms and social chaos is  more about formal norms (in Tehran) than informal ones.

The dependent variable of this research then is the degree of anomie, or the degree of following or not following formal and informal norms. The independent variables are needs and values: the possibility of satisfying needs, poverty, acceptance of cultural goals, relative deprivation, social trust, religious beliefs, and the likelihood and degree of getting punished.

A survey was conducted to address the relationship of these variables. The sample is 350 individuals that were selected through cluster sampling from 70 neighborhoods of Tehran. Multivariate regression is used to analyze the survey. The results show that violation of norms is higher for formal norms, while there is no anomie in terms of informal norms.

The results also indicate that economic factors are the strongest in producing anomie. Education and satisfaction with life are also work in the same direction but they are not as powerful as economic factors. According to the author, economic inequality is the major cause of inclination toward anomie in all classes in the social structure.