The Why and How of Movements

The Why and How of Movements - The Why and How of Movements...

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On September 11, 2001 governmental, corporate, and private organizations closed their doors and put their very best security at protecting their people and property. Days later we realized that the real threat was to New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania only. Panic occurs when crowds or masses react suddenly to perceived entrapment, exclusion, or danger. Panics can impacts masses and crowds. In the 9-11 terroristic attack the panic may have saved lives and property had the terroristic threats been broader than they really were. In the Stock Market, panics damage profits and put the economy in peril. It doesn’t matter if the threat is real or imagined (see Thomas Theorem). When something catches on for a short season of intense interest, we call it a fad. A Fad is a novel form of behavior that catches on in popularity but later fades. The Lance Armstrong forever strong wrist band was an example of a popular fad that came and went to some degree of popularity. On a larger scale and with more social impact, is the phenomenon of a social movement. Social Movements are intentional efforts by groups in a society to create new institutions or reform existing ones. Social movements are much more organized and goal driven than crowds' fad behaviors. They typically organize to promote or resist change at some level of society. They also tend to have the same intensity of organizational leadership that might be found in a government or business organization. Messianic Movements seek to bring about social change with the promise of miraculous intervention. Almost always these movements are led by a rather charismatic leader and followed by people inclined to need or want to be a part of something exceptional in their lives. Charisma means having an outstanding personality that magnetically attracts others to you. In recent years there have been three very similar messianic movements whose charismatic leaders were born and raised in the US, but were not very successful in their individual lives and ended up leading large numbers of people to their mortal demise (See Jones, Koresh, and Applewhite below). Figure 1. A Comparison of Jones, Koresh, and Applewhite Messianic Movements
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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The Why and How of Movements - The Why and How of Movements...

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