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Lecture 3

Week 3 Lecture - Collective Madness

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Disability Studies
DST 500
Jenna Reid

Week 3: Collective Madness  Is there such a thing as “collective madness” or “societal madness”?  Can whole societies be crazy?  Necessary to look beyond the individual in terms of causal factors and in terms of the way mental illness is dealt with. We talked about important structural factors – social context is important o Society is somehow sick or disordered  Aggregate insanity – looking at rates in certain populations  Collective Madness: populations of people and their actions  Societal insanity: global properties of society and how they‟re evaluated  Not what‟s happening with society, but what‟s happening at the societal level th  In the Diagnostic and Structural Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 4 Edition), mental disorder is defined as: a behavioural or psychological syndrome or pattern that is associated with distress, disability, or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom. Must not be an expectable response, but a manifestation of behavioural, psychological, or biological dysfunction  DSM 5 – cannot be a disorder unless it comes from individual dysfunction o Terms are put individually based  Difficulty to decide what‟s “mad: and what‟s “sane” as everyone has different perceptions of what‟s acceptable in societal norms, and people may have different definitions for what‟s considered insane o No scientific way of deciding that  Collective is not just group of people acting together, it is a concept that is leading to the irrational behaviours o Fashion Fad – celebrities create them o Large group of people embrace the behaviour o appears in upper class first, and go out when accepted and accessible by the general public because they become more financially affordable o Careerism – idea of having grave discontent with career despite how successful you are; seek to move up or move on to something else o Mobs – highly emotional and violent crowns that targets specific individual or groups of individuals; reason is fueled by fear (e.g. Lynching in southern States)  Public activity  Justification would be many things (e.g. being looked at the wrong way)  A family event as family members  Fear of other was created into the enemy and was not seen as abnormal o Riots – violent forms of crowd behaviour, don‟t target specific groups of people  Because of this, more likely to cause property damage  “just happen”  Reasons: politically fueled, fear and hate  E.g. G20, after Vancouver lost against o Mass Hysteria – form of disperse collectivity  Whether or not in same area as people, where emotional reaction to perceived threat due to lack of information or false knowledge which creates insanity  Lasts longer than panics  Will believe a new epidemic is happening or contracted a new illness when not really  Show symptoms but don‟t really have it o Panic – crowds engage in panic whether or not thing is real  Insufficient means or not enough time to escape from proposed danger  E.g. someone yells “fire!”  How people theorize about collective madness (19:00) o Strain – can have negative impact on collective behaviours (e.g economic hardship, more war) o Contaigin Theory – group awareness rather than interactive awareness  Exert hypnotic feeling; everyone catches feeling o Emer
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