Revisiting the measurement of anomie

Ali Teymoori, Jolanda Jetten, Brock Bastian, Amarina, Frédérique Autin, Nadia Ayub, Constantina Badea, Tomasz Besta, Fabrizio Butera, Rui Costa-Lopes, Lijuan Cui, Carole Fantini, Gillian Finchilescu, Lowell Gaertner, Mario Gollwitzer, Ángel Gómez, Roberto González, Ying Yi Hong, Dorthe Høj Jensen, Minoru KarasawaThomas Kessler, Olivier Klein, Marcus Lima, Tuuli Anna Mähönen, Laura Megevand, Thomas Morton, Paola Paladino, Tibor Polya, Aleksejs Ruza, Wan Shahrazad, Sushama Sharma, Ana Raquel Torres, Anne Marthe Van Der Bles, Michael Wohl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sociologists coined the term "anomie" to describe societies that are characterized by disintegration and deregulation. Extending beyond conceptualizations of anomie that conflate the measurements of anomie as 'a state of society' and as a 'state of mind', we disentangle these conceptualizations and develop an analysis and measure of this phenomenon focusing on anomie as a perception of the 'state of society'. We propose that anomie encompasses two dimensions: a perceived breakdown in social fabric (i.e., disintegration as lack of trust and erosion of moral standards) and a perceived breakdown in leadership (i.e., deregulation as lack of legitimacy and effectiveness of leadership). Across six studies we present evidence for the validity of the new measure, the Perception of Anomie Scale (PAS). Studies 1a and 1b provide evidence for the proposed factor structure and internal consistency of PAS. Studies 2a-c provide evidence of convergent and discriminant validity. Finally, assessing PAS in 28 countries, we show that PAS correlates with national indicators of societal functioning and that PAS predicts national identification and well-being (Studies 3a & 3b). The broader implications of the anomie construct for the study of group processes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0158370
JournalPloS one
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

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