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Lecture 19


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SOCI 102
Catherine Corrigall- Brown

SOCIOLOGY CHAPTER 18 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND SOCIAL CHANGE COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOUR Collective behavior: a group of people bypassing the usual norms that guide their actions to engage in behavior that violates social expectations Early Explanations: The transformation of the Individual  How the crowd transforms the individual o Study of collective behavior began when a journalist observed that people went mad and did disgraceful and violent thing sin crowd situations o Heard mentality: they were like a herd of cows that could suddenly stampede o About 50 years later we noted that people feel anonymous in crowds, less accountable for what they do, feel invincible o Collective mind: o Collective mind develops and people are swept up by almost any suggestion o Contagion, something like mass hypnosis then takes over, releasing the destructive instincts that society so carefully represses  The acting crowd: excited group that moves toward a goal o 5 stages that precede an acting crowd  Tension or unrest  at the root of collective behavior is a background condition of tension or unrest, some motivation  Exciting event  an exciting event occurs, one so startling that people become preoccupied with it  Milling: people standing or walking around, talking about the exciting event  circular reaction then sets in, people pick up cues as the “right” way of thinking and feeling and reinforce them in one another  A common object of attention  people’s attention becomes riveted on some aspect of the event and get caught up in the collective excitement  Common impulses  people get the feeling that they are in agreement about what should be done, these are stimulated by social contagion, sense of excitement that is passed from one person to another o They aren’t always negative or destructive The contemporary view: the rationality of the crowd  The minimax strategy: capitalist behavior of trying to minimize our costs and maximize our rewards o The fewer the costs and the more rewards we anticipate form something, the more likely we are to do it  Emergent norms: express the idea that something new has happened o If something disrupts our customary ways of doing things, our ordinary norms m
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