Research is reported on the relation between anomie and membership in the old and
the new middle class. The old and the new middle class are defined in terms of two
dimensions: (1) access to large-scale industrial bureaucracies-a factor relevant
to mass-society theory-and (2) ownership as opposed to management of capital-a factor
relevant to a more traditional class-oriented, economic theory. The data are generally
more consistent with an economic viewpoint than a mass-society viewpoint: at low
and moderate income levels owners tend to be more anomic than managers; bureaucratic
affiliations are not, however, related to anomie. An attempt is made to trace the
differences in anomie between owners and managers to varying mobility commitments.
Owners tend to be less mobility oriented than managers. When commitments to mobility
are controlled, the differences on anomie between the two groups attenuate to a point
where they are no longer statistically significant. This result is discussed within
a more general theoretical perspective.