Anomie and Alienation in the Post-Communist Area: A Reapplication of the Middleton Scale in Russia and Kazakhstan
33 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2015
Date Written: February 20, 2015
Unlike commonly used, anomie and alienation not only have different theoretical backgrounds, but also different indicators and predictors. I examine the highly institutionalized alienation scale originally introduced by Middleton (1963), reapplied as a measurement of alienation (Seeman, 1991) and anomie (Huschka and Mau 2005, 2006) in a very relevant context for an anomic situation – the post-Communist countries Russia and Kazakhstan (round six of the World Values Surveys fielded the alienation question in just these two countries). Based on confirmatory factor analysis and multiple group comparisons, I find that the scale consists of two dimensions, which can be described as an anomie and alienation. The anomic dimension consists of indicators “normlessness” and “powerlessness,” whereas the alienative one is comprised by “social isolation”, “meaninglessness,” and “job dissatisfaction.” Though the structure proves to have full invariance in both countries, the predictors for anomie and alienation are different. For both countries, only income is an important predictor for anomie, and though to a lower degree, for alienation. In Kazakhstan, the level of urbanization also provides an impact on the level of anomie. Apart from income, in Russia alienation can be predicted by gender, and type of occupation (manual or intellectual), whereas in Kazakhstan it can be predicted by age.
Keywords: anomie, alienation, Russia, Kazakhstan, measurement invariance
JEL Classification: B14, C38, C39, P20
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