Criminal Anomie as a Social Problem

Kuzmenkov V.A.

Cand. Sci. (Philos.), lecturer of the social and philosophical disciplines chair, Orel Law Institute of the Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation named after V.V. Lukyanov, Orel, Russia

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250003751-9
ID of the Article: 7504

For citation:

Kuzmenkov V.A. Criminal Anomie as a Social Problem. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 1. P. 96-105


The article is devoted to the «criminal anomie» conceptualization. Anomic crime is widespread in modern Russia. In Western sociology the anomical premise of crime has long been studied. The author describes a number of conditions that facilitate the growth or reduction of crimes in order to determine which social preconditions have the greatest impact on the growth of illegal behavior. To verify these conditions, he refers to the analysis of official statistics on crime, divorce, suicide, poverty, etc. for each region of the country. Descriptive statistics made it possible to show that Russia is characterized by high rates of anomie. Anomie in the Siberian and Far Eastern Federal Districts is much higher then in the European territory of the country. Correlation analysis indicates the growth of crime in the spread of unemployment, divorce, as well as alcoholism and drug addiction of the population. Crime reduces with favorable environmental conditions. The high number of policemen does not reduce crime. Cluster analysis allowed to obtain typology of subjects of the country in terms of indicators of anomic crime. Six clusters are distinguished: the first (30 regions) is characterized by anomie growth, the second (8 regions) is characterized by the highest anomia indicators, the third (36 subjects) is relatively prosperous, the fourth (2 subjects) includes Moscow and St. Petersburg, the fifth (7 regions) embraces republics of the North Caucasus, the sixth (2 subjects) includes unfavorable the Magadan and Chukotka Regions. Cluster analysis showed that one cannot talk about common factors of crime in different regions of the country. To identify the criminogenic factors, a regression analysis was carried out, revealing a number of factors of anomic crime: an increase in the number of unemployed; urbanization; alcoholization of the population; the spread of drug addiction; degradation of the ecological situation; inflow of migrants.

anomie; cluster analysis; drugs; police; crime; regression analysis; suicide; statistics; murder


Готчина Л.В. Криминологическая характеристика российской наркопреступности: структура, динамика и прогноз // Всероссийский криминологический журнал. 2017. Т. 11. № 4. C. 767–775. DOI: 10.17150/2500-4255.2017.11(4).767-775. [Gotchina L.V. (2017) Criminological Characteristics of Russian Drug-related Crimes: Structure, Dynamics and Forecast. Vserossiyskiy kriminologicheskiy zhurnal [Russian Journal of Criminology]. No. 11: 767–775. (In Russ.)]

Мертон Р. Социальная теория и социальная структура. М.: ХРАНИТЕЛЬ, 2006. [Merton R. (2006) Social Theory and Social Structure. Moscow: KHRANITEL’. (In Russ.)]

Agnew R. (1992) Foundation for a General Strain Theory of Crime and Delinquency. Criminology. Vol. 30. No. 1: 47–87. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.1992.tb01093.x.

Baumer E.P., Gustafson R. (2007) Social Organization and Instrumental Crime: Assessing the Empirical Validity of Classical and Contemporary Anomie Theories. Criminology. No. 45: 617–663. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2007.00090.x.

Becker G. (1968) Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach. Journal of Political Economy. No. 76: 169–217.

Bjarnason Th. (1998) Parents, Religion and Perceived Social Coherence: A Durkheimian Framework of Adolescent Anomie. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. No. 37: 742–754. DOI: 10.2307/1388154.

Bjerregaard B., Cochran J.K. (2008) Want Amid Plenty: Developing and Testing a Cross-National Measure of Anomie. International Journal of Conflict and Violence. Vol. 2: 189–190. DOI: 10.1177/0306624X10396071.

Cao L. (2007) Returning to Normality: Anomie and Crime in China. International Journal of Comparative Criminology. No. 51: 40–51. DOI: 10.1177/0306624X06294427.

Cao L., Zhao R., Ren L., Zhao J. (2010) Social Support and Anomie A Multilevel Analysis of Anomie in Europe and North America. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. No. 54. No. 4: 625–639. DOI: 10.1177/0306624X09334218.

Dolliver D. (2015) Cultural and Institutional Adaptation and Change in Europe: A Test of Institutional Anomie Theory Using Time Series. British Journal of Criminology. No. 55: 754–755. DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azu092.

Durkheim E. (1897) Le Suicide: Étude de sociologie. Paris, Félix Alcan.

Eide E., Rubin P.H., Shepherd J.M. (2006) Economics of Crime, Foundations and Trends. Microeconomics. Vol. 2. No. 3: 205–279. DOI: 10.1561/0700000014.

Jensen G. (2002) Institutional Anomie and Societal Variations in Crime: A Critical Appraisal. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. No. 22: 45–74. DOI: 10.1108/01443330210790094.

Kelling G.L., Wilson J.Q. (1982) Broken Windows. The Police and Neighborhood Safety. The Atlantic. URL: (accessed 12.07.18).

Lee G.R. (1974) Marriage and Anomie: A Causal Argument. Journal of Marriage and the Family. No. 35: 523–532. DOI: 10.2307/350723.

Levitt S. (1997) Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime. American Economic Review. No. 81(3): 270–290. DOI: 10.3386/w4991.Markowitz S. (2000)

Criminal Violence and Alcohol Beverage Control: Evidence from an International Study. NBER Working Paper. 2000. No. 7481. DOI: 10.3386/w7481.

Ryan J. (1981) Marital Status, Happiness, and Anomia. Journal of Marriage and the Family. No. 43: 643–649. DOI: 10.2307/351765.

Content No 1, 2019