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University of Toronto Scarborough

Crowds  crowds are large numbers of people, in close proximity, and are gathered for a specific reason  sociologists study crowds to better understand the nature of collective and group behaviour, and what happens when large groups living in a society come together in a variety of instances and for a number of reasons  types of crowds:  conventional crowd—large group of people gathered for a clear purpose who behave according to expectations (a town meeting—behaviour is only appropriate, and not inappropriate)  casual crowd—a group of people in the same palce at the same time but who do not have a common goal (shoppers on Boxing Day at a mall)  expressive crowd—a large number of people at an event who display emotion and excitement (people at a baseball game, concert)  acting crowd—a group of people fuelled by a single purpose/goal (peaceful protestors)  mob—a disorderly crowd of people (when an acting crowd is incited to become a riot) Mobs  sometimes collective behaviour can be threatening—the law enforcement perspective is that any group has the potential to become a dangerous and angry group  large groups can escalate their activities to include violence, and damage to public property, and they can easily lead to a riot  a riot is a civil disorder stemming from a social grievance and caused by a disorganized crowd who usually exhibits aggression (that may lead to violence, vandalism, destruction of property  in the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto, a peaceful demonstration became a riot—even in the most peaceful of societies, collective behaviour can cause disorder and violence under the correct circumstances  police officers were beating protestors, and rounded up many protestors, but in the end, very few were charged Fear and Collective Behaviour  in some cases, fear is motivated by real/perceived events of a frightening/harmful nature  mass hysteria is the widespread irrational reaction to a perceived danger  panic (emotional/irrational response on the part of an individual/group to a social event that is bel
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