A writer discusses the different states of sadness including melancholy, mal du pays, neurasthenia, and anomie. Here is the description of anomie:
“Anomie” was another condition once favoured in the 19th Century by the sociologist Emile Durkheim, and from a sociologist, a sociological condition. Anomie was defined as an isolated mood caused by the breakdown of social norms, sense of purpose and rules of conduct.
This famous term came out of Durkheim’s thinking in Suicide. I’ve never thought of it as a sadness – I usually think of it as a slotting issue where some individuals don’t have roles within larger society. Durkheim was less interested in how it was experienced by individuals and more interested in why it occurred and then might lead to more suicides.
If I had to describe the kind of sadness that anomie represents, I might go with something like a feeling that one does not have a place in society, doesn’t fit, doesn’t have a role, and is outside society’s norms and rules.