Socio notes 11-30 - Sociology Notes Collective Behavior...

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Sociology Notes 11/30/10 General characteristics: Wide ranging Complex – difficult to understand how a particular fad gets started or why people panic in some situations and don’t panic in others Transitory- collective behavior doesn’t last forever Mass behavior : collective behavior among people who are widely dispersed Fads o Rubik’s cube o Hula hoop o The hustle o Cabbage patch kids o Pokémon Rumors: unsubstantiated information spread informally o Thrive in climate of ambiguity (absence of information) o Changeable o Difficult to stop; people may dismiss real information as false o Tend to be inaccurate due to: Leveling—simplification (pass the rumors quickly, rumor gets simplified) Sharpening—selective details are kept Assimilation—rumors tend to have a beginning, middle & end (passed along in story form) o Ex: Paul McCartney is Dead—album covers for sergeant pepper and for abbey road, “I am the Walrus”, song played backwards, the bleeding cover Explanations for McCartney rumor
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Entertainment value Credibility gap (people in power not trusted) Mythic appeal (young hero dies before his time) Seemingly plausibility
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Socio notes 11-30 - Sociology Notes Collective Behavior...

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