A Study on Anonymous and Anomie

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Anonymous and Anomie Robert Merton was one of the leading theorist of anomie, which can be defined as "social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values; a weakening of the normative order in society or societal normalness; [or] cultural chaos produced when social organization fails to respond to non conformity of its members" (Arrigo 316). In his theories, Merton argued that there was "tendency for social norms to lose their regulatory force, but strain on the individual contributed to deviance" (54). Moreover, Merton argued that the goals established by these social norms did not change, but rather that the means for attaining them did. Merton further developed several typologies of adaptation by which people would proceed to attempt to achieve their goals through anomie. Among these typologies is rebellion, which rejects the goals and means of capitalist society. It can be argued that "hacktivist" group Anonymous can be considered to have adopted the typology of rebellion. Anonymous is "a large, decentralized group of individuals who share common interests and web haunts"¦They coordinate raids on forums"¦and ICQ chat rooms, among other venues" (Sharp). Anonymous' ideology can be found in their mission statement. The statement reads: We are an anonymous, decentralized movement which fights against censorship and copywrong" (Sharp). As such, Anonymous has continuously targeted organizations that aim to censor the distribution of digital
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