Sociology Chapter 18 Authority - Chapter 18 Collective...

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Chapter 18: Collective Action, Social Movements, and Social Change Collective Action : Action that takes place in groups and diverges from the social norms of the situation - Two main types of Collective Action: 1. Crowd Collective Action (you must be face to face with other members of your group) - Positive: Charging the field after a football game win - Negative: Race Riot 2. Mass Collective Action (occurs when members of a group aren’t physically together) - Positive: The ice bucket challenge - Negative: Ebola mask panic - Deviates from the social norms (dependent on the situation/setting) - Non-ritualized - Cannot be institutionalized Theories of Collective Action: 1. Convergence Theory : A theory of collective action stating that collective action happens when people with similar ideas and tendencies gather in the same place - Limitations of Convergence Theory: - It is often reduced to the sum of its parts - It does not explain the inconsistency of group action 2. Contagion Theory : A theory of collective action claiming that collective action arises because of people’s tendency to conform to the behavior of others with whom they are in close contact - Limitations of Contagion Theory: - Explains how collective action spreads, but ignores individual agency - Treats individuals as mindless sheep, thoughtlessly following the actions of others - It does not explain why some people are more conducive to collective action than others - It does not explain the inconsistency of group action 3. Emergent Norm Theory : A theory of collective action that emphasizes the influence of keynoters in promoting particular norms (suggests that, in group situations, certain people in the crowd set the behavioral pattern that emerges as the norm for the entire group) - Keynoters (anyone from whom other people take cues in a given context) - Limitations of Emergent Norm Theory: - Does not explain why particular people emerge as leaders - Does not set the terms for the new behavior that emerges - Does not explain why one behavior rather than another emerges 4. Value-Added Theory: An explanation of how social movements increase in value in a series of progressive stages (Neil Smelser) One: There must be a social strain present that existing power holders are unable or unwilling to alleviate Two: People must be able to agree on a definition of the problem Three: People must be free to act on their grievance Four: There must be a spark that ignites the controversy Five: People need to gather in an organized fashion (mobilized action)

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