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11 02 Lecture Notes - Social Movements and Collective Behaviour.docx

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Western University
Sociology 1021E

Social Movements and Collective Behaviour Conditions of Collective Behaviour  Tension or unrest – frustration, agitation  Exciting event o Even if we have nothing in common except this event, we’ll start to bond  Million: circular reaction starts o Reinforce one another  Common object of attention  You make look to political leaders for change – but the individual cannot be without the social – need the social for power.  Bomb scare in the lecture hall – we all start to connect – prof isn’t on stage alone – we’re either all up there with her or she’s back with us. Next week, bomb scare’s over and business as usual Types of Collective Behaviour  Mobs: short lived violence  Riots: sustained violence  Protests: perception of injustice or mistreatment by authority o Execs from wall street won’t be on Occupy Wall St. – they already do o Motivation switches from injustice to fear  Panics: fear overwhelms social functioning o Infectious disease outbreaks  SARS – people cancelled flights and didn’t want to be in large public areas Explanations of Crowd Behaviour  Contagion Theory: communication and acceptance of attitudes o Anonymity in a crowd o Human behaviour changes due to context/environment  Convergence Theory: shared statuses (race, class) o We are moving away from “this is a black/gay people struggle”  Emergent Norms o Situational norms – vandalism in a crowd (ok in that situation, but once we leave we’re sorry) o Redefinition of right from wrong  Prison experiment – made college students prison guards or prisoners and said they could exert whatever power they wanted. Ended it after 3 days because it was so violent – abuse of power  Usually we know violence is wrong
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