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Title: Alienation, anomie and traditional powerlessness
Authors: Zammit, Edward L.
Keywords: Alienation (Social psychology) -- Malta
Malta -- Social conditions
Malta -- History
Durkheimian school of sociology
Issue Date: 1983
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy
Citation: Zammit, E. L. (1983). Alienation, anomie and traditional powerlessness. Economic and Social Studies (New Series), 1, 1-16.
Abstract: For many centuries the Maltese people were powerless in determining their national, political and economic matters. Powerlessness here refers to a social condition which is beyond the control of certain actors whose lives are determined by it in important respects. This "national powerlessness" was psychologically compensated by a high emotional investment in "local" institutions which, in a sense, provided the people with alternative sources of power and prestige. To an extent, these "safety valve" institutions distracted the people's attentions from national struggles for control in vital areas which were beyond their reach. In this context, the objective powerlessness is also accompanied by a subjective, normative acceptance of that condition. This does not exclude some dormant, cultural aspirations for control even in the national areas. In fact, such aspirations emerging from whatever source may gain popularity during periods of unrest due to unusual economic deprivation or manifest political repression. For the most part, however, there are few, if any, signs of a challenge to the existing national power structure. On the contrary, the prevailing interactions between the dominant and subordinate actors tend towards an apparent authority rather than a power relationship.
Appears in Collections:Economic and Social Studies (New Series), Volume 1, 1983
Economic and Social Studies (New Series), Volume 1, 1983

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