chapter 21

chapter 21 - Chapter 21 notes Collective behavior is...

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Chapter 21 notes Collective behavior is characterized by a group of people becoming emotionally aroused and engaging in extraordinary behavior, in which the usual norms do not apply. In 1852, Charles Mackay concluded that when people were in crowds, they sometimes went “mad” and did “disgracful and violent things” he called it the “herd mentality”. Based on Mackay’s idea, Gustave Lebon stressed that the crowd transforms the individual. In a crowd, people feel anonymous, not accountable for what they do; they develop feelings of invincibility, believing that together they can accomplish anything. A collective mind develops. They become highly suggestible; this paves the way for contagion, a kind of collective hypnosis, which releases the destructive instinct that society has so carefully repressed. To LeBon’s analysis, Robert Park added the ideas of social unrest, which is transmitted from one individual to another, and circular reaction, the back and forth communication between the members of a crowd whereby a “ collective impulse ” is transmitted. Human behavior is regulated by the normative order —socially approved ways of doing things that make up our everyday life. But when as extraordinary event occur and existing norms do not cover the new situation, people develop new norms to deal with the problem (emergent norms ). There are five kinds of crowd participants:
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2008 for the course SOCI 200 taught by Professor Cole during the Fall '07 term at Liberty.

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chapter 21 - Chapter 21 notes Collective behavior is...

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