1960 [1895]. While tensions were building over Ukraine’s efforts to join the European Union, and even as Russian troops had taken control of the Ukrainian airbase in Belbek, the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Chorus tried to lighten the troubled times for shoppers with music and song. To distinguish between them, remember that members of a mass share interests, whereas members of a public share ideas. These interaction theories have been labeled contagion and convergence theories, respectively—the former stressing the contagious spread of mood and behaviour; the latter stressing the convergence of a large number of people with similar predispositions. Contagion theory: Collective behavior is emotional and irrational and results from the hypnotic influence of the crowd. Theory of Collective Behavior. Eventually, those theorists who viewed crowds as uncontrolled groups of irrational people were supplanted by theorists who viewed the behavior some crowds engaged in as the rational behavior of logical beings. Imagine you are at a rally protesting nuclear energy use. Called social control, it is the only way to end the collective behavior episode (Smelser 1962). New York: Viking Press. agencies of social agitation ambiguity American Journal Anatomy of Revolution anxiety boom Chicago collective behavior collective outbursts communication components of action components of social conditions of conduciveness conditions of strain craze Crowd cults … The next condition is the growth and spread of a generalized belief, wherein a problem is clearly identified and attributed to a person or group. An opposite evaluation of many forms of collective behaviour has become part of the analytic perspective in revolutionary approaches to society. Neil Smelser’s (1962) meticulous categorization of crowd behavior, called value-added theory, is a perspective within the functionalist tradition based on the idea that several conditions must be in place for collective behavior to occur. … Eventually, those theorists who viewed crowds as uncontrolled groups of irrational people were supplanted by theorists who viewed the behavior some crowds engaged in as the rational behavior of logical beings. Some flash mobs may function as political protests, while others are for fun. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. 70–75 in Collective Behavior and Social Movements, edited by Russel Curtis and Benigno Aguirre. What is an example of each? Turner, Ralph, and Lewis M. Killian. McPhail, Clark. Frustration and lack of firm social anchorage are the two most widely used explanations for individual participation in collective behaviour of all kinds. Other interaction theorists have challenged the assumption of unanimity, proposing that in most kinds of collective behaviour a single mood and course of action is established with such force and intolerance that the many who privately dissent are silenced, creating an illusion of unanimity. The term Collective behavior refers to social processes and events which do not reflect existing social structure (laws, conventions, and institutions), but which emerge in a \"spontaneous\" way. A public, on the other hand, is an unorganized, relatively diffused group of people who share ideas, such as the Libertarian political party. Collective behavior is relatively spontaneous behavior that follows from the formation of a group or crowd of people who react to a … Examples include a group of people attending an Ani DiFranco concert, tailgating at a Patriots game, or attending a worship service. New York: Free Press. Remember that collective behavior is a noninstitutionalized gathering, whereas collective action is based on a shared interest. The main focus of the lab is at the interface of physics and biology, and it pursues quantitative approaches to systems and … The most influential general theory of collective behaviour is that of N.J. Smelser (1962) which draws particular attention to the importance of ‘generalized beliefs’ and values in directing social movements. Publication date 1965 Topics Social psychology, Human behavior Publisher New York : Free Press Collection cdl; americana Digitizing sponsor Internet Archive Contributor University of California Libraries Language English. New York: Aldine de Gruyter. If members of the audience decide that it is more rational to run to the exits than to walk the result may look like an animal-like stampedewithout in fact being irrational. This is even the case if they themselves are able to utilize the good after it has been obtained. Allport insisted instead that collective behaviour involves merely a group of people doing what they previously wanted to do but for which they lacked the occasion and the support of like-minded associates. Collective Behavior. Convergence theory: Crowd behavior reflects the beliefs and intentions that individuals already share before they join a crowd. Collective behavior according to Smelser is relatively spontaneous and unstructured behavior of a group of people who are reacting to a common influence in an ambiguous situation. As they discuss their potential behavior … What sets them apart? Give examples of each. Berk's idea is only a plausible hypothesis: there has been no empirical study on the ma… Theoretical Perspectives on Collective Behavior. The Laboratory for the Physics of life is a biophysics research laboratory of Thomas Gregor at the Physics Department of Princeton University. (Photo courtesy of Mattwi1S0n:/flickr). Structural strain, the second condition, refers to people’s expectations about the situation at hand being unmet, causing tension and strain. Riots, mobs, mass hysteria, fads, fashions, rumor, and public opinion are all examples of collective behavior. New York: Barnes and Noble. Contagion theory: Collective behavior is emotional and irrational and results from the hypnotic influence of the crowd. Collective behaviour, the kinds of activities engaged in by sizable but loosely organized groups of people. Casual crowds consist of people who are in the same place at the same time but who aren’t really interacting, such as people standing in line at the post office. With the more or less continuous shifts of values in any society, emerging values are first given group expression in collective behaviour; efforts to revitalize declining values also bring forth collective behaviour. Glossary acting crowds crowds of people who are focused on a specific action or goal assembling perspective a theory that credits individuals in crowds as behaving as rational thinkers and views crowds as engaging in … Robert Park first coined the term collective behavior in the early 1900s. Blumer adds a subtlety to this theory by sharply distinguishing circular reaction from “interpretative interaction,” in which the individual first interprets another’s action and then makes a response usually different from the stimulus action. Give an example of emergent-norm perspective, using your own experience. This idea is striking, given that some have described panic as the purest form of collective behavior. The Myth of the Madding Crowd. When the community perceived that the police were not acting in the people’s interest and were withholding the name of the officer, structural strain became evident. Sociologists and social psychologists, without denying the place of individual motivation in any complete explanation for collective behaviour, have more often stressed a distinctive quality or intensity of social interaction. It can influence the other five conditions, namely, prevent them, generate them, or change them to condi-tions for another kind of behavior – or it can be ineffective. 1969. Sociologists Ralph Turner and Lewis Killian (1993) built on earlier sociological ideas and developed what is known as emergent norm theory. Collective Behavior. Theory of Collective Behavior Neil J. Smelser No preview available - 2011. Finally the assembling perspective focuses on collective action rather than collective behavior, addressing the processes associated with crowd behavior and the lifecycle and various categories of gatherings. They believe that the norms experienced by people in a crowd may be disparate and fluctuating. The French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon identified the crowd and revolutionary movements with the excesses of the … Emergent norm theory asserts that, in this circumstance, people perceive and respond to the crowd situation with their particular (individual) set of norms, which may change as the crowd experience evolves. A single individual barely has influence on an organization's situation, but every individual is able to rejoice in every improvement, regardless of whether he/she has contributed to it, a "conflict between collectively and individually best action" is existing. Englewood Cliffs, N. J., Prentice Hall. Turner and Killian (1993) identified four types of crowds. Walk us through the hypothetical rally using the value-added theory, imagining it meets all the stages. But such behavior take … 1963. The next, the value-added theory, is a functionalist perspective that states that several preconditions must be in place for collective behavior to occur. Smelser, Neil J. According to the emergent-norm perspective, crowds are not viewed as irrational, impulsive, uncontrolled groups. Spontaneous gatherings like this are called flash mobs. The collective behavior perspective is thought to apply to all behavior and no unique concepts, theories or methods are needed to understand it, apart from general sociological concepts. Early collective behavior theories (LeBon 1895; Blumer 1969) focused on the irrationality of crowds. Early collective behavior theories (LeBon 1895; Blumer 1969) focused on the irrationality of crowds. Collective Behavior Ralph H. Turner, Ralph Herbert Turner, Turner, Lewis M. Killian Snippet view - 1957. LeBon, Gustave. Fourth, precipitating factors spur collective behavior; this is the emergence of a dramatic event. Other examples are a group of commuters traveling home from work and a population of teens adopting a favorite singer’s hairstyle. In 1895, the French scholar, Gustave LeBon, elevated the collective behavior tradition into a full-blown scientific theory of mass action … 1993. Collective Behavior  Collective behavior is a type of social behavior that occurs in crowds or masses Riots, mobs, mass hysteria, fads, fashions, rumor, and public opinion are all examples of collective behavior.It is argued that people tend to surrender their individuality and moral judgment in crowds and give in to the hypnotic powers of leaders who shape crowd behavior … By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Can you think of a time when your behavior in a crowd was dictated by the circumstances? Englewood Cliffs, N. J., Prentice Hall. Theories of Collective Behaviour and So cial Movements The need to consider th eories o f collective behaviour and social movements has raised some … There are three different forms of collective behavior: crowd, mass, and public. A mass is a relatively large number of people with a common interest, though they may not be in close proximity (Lofland 1993), such as players of the popular Facebook game Farmville. According to the approach suggested by the U.S. political scientist Hadley Cantril, participation in vital collectivities supplies a sense of meaning through group affirmation and action and raises the member’s estimate of his social status, both of which are important needs often frustrated in modern society. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. Common terms and phrases. Convergence theory: Crowd behavior reflects the beliefs and intentions that individuals already share before they join a crowd. These events do not conform to rules or laws but instead are shaped based on the issue at hand. Agents of social control bring collective behavior to an end. Collective behavior, a third form of action, takes place when norms are absent or unclear, or when they contradict eac… Ultimately they were met with tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets used by the police acting as agents of social control. http://cnx.org/contents/02040312-72c8-441e-a685-20e9333f3e1d/Introduction_to_Sociology_2e, Carpooling parents take several children to the movies, Collective and simultaneous participation in a speech or song, Pledge of Allegiance in the school classroom, The direction and rate of movement to the event, Describe different forms of collective behavior, Discuss emergent norm, value-added, and assembling perspective analyses of collective behavior. 1991. Since most forms of collective behaviour promote thoughts that are otherwise difficult to account for and that breech behavioral inhibitions, this is often a fruitful source of explanation. (Photo courtesy of Infrogmation/Wikimedia Commons). The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. Freud, too, stressed a distinctive pattern of interaction in collective behaviour. There are three main theories on collective behavior. Many of these early theories depicted collective behaviour as an atavism, in which the evolutionary accomplishments of civilization were stripped away and human behaviour returned to an earlier stage of development. This article discusses collective action theory and focuses on three broad tropics. The French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon identified the crowd and revolutionary movements with the excesses of the French Revolution; the U.S. psychologist Boris Sidis was impressed with the resemblance of crowd behaviour to mental disorder. The detail for each condition varies with the type of collective behaviour. Berkeley: University of California Press. Neither the search for enjoyment in a recreational fad, the search for spiritual meaning in a religious sect, nor the demand for equal opportunity in an interest-group movement is accepted at face value. Turner, Ralph, and Lewis M. Killian. Collective behaviour is commonly seen by sociologists as a normal accompaniment and medium for social change, relatively absent in periods of social stability. For Turner and Killian, the process begins when individuals suddenly find themselves in a new situation, or when an existing situation suddenly becomes strange or unfamiliar. Common terms and phrases. Eric Hoffer, a U.S. philosopher, attributed a leading role in collective behaviour to “true believers,” who overcome their own personal doubts and conflicts by the creation of intolerant and unanimous groups about them. McPhail’s theory focused primarily on the processes associated with crowd behavior, plus the lifecycle of gatherings. If we were starting fresh we could certainly find a better name for the field and perhaps a more logical way of dividing it up (although this could be said of most intellectual fields). Early collective behavior theories (LeBon 1895; Blumer 1969) focused on the irrationality of crowds. In the sociological tradition of Émile Durkheim, absence of firm integration into social groups leaves the individual open to deviant ideas and susceptible to the vital sense of solidarity that comes from participation in spontaneous groupings. By John Toon January 10, 2021. Collective Behaviour: Collective behaviour has been generally applied to these events and refers to group behaviour which originates spontaneously, is entirely unorganized, fairly unpredictable and planless in course of development, and which depends on interstimulation among participants. In these extraordinary circumstances, what outsiders saw as “looting” was defined by those involved as seeking needed supplies for survival. 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