Anomie is a sociological term meaning "personal feeling of a lack of norms; normlessness". It describes the breakdown of social norms and values. It was popularized by French sociologist Émile Durkheim in his influential book Suicide (1897). Durkheim borrowed the word from French philosopher Jean-Marie Guyau.
For Durkheim, anomie arises more generally from a mismatch between personal or group standards and wider social standards, or from the lack of a social ethic, which produces moral deregulation and an absence of legitimate aspirations.