The definitions of anomic suicide presented in introductory sociology textbooks from 1996 to 2007 were compared with the definition given by Durkheim in his own writings both in the original French and the English translation. It was found that only one textbook correctly gave Durkheim’s own definition while the other definitions showed little or no relationship to the original concept. The original concept was based on an analysis of the economy, more particularly the business cycle, and refers only to the structure of society and not to the mental state of the individual. An attempt is made to discover the source of such a widespread and well-accepted error.
Puffer, Phyllis. 2009. "Durkheim Did Not Say "Normlessness": The Concept of Anomic Suicide for Introductory Sociology Courses." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 24(1): Article 11. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol24/iss1/11