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Questions on Collective Behavior and Social Movements

What are the differences between collective behavior and social movements?

Collective behavior describes the actions, thoughts and feelings of a relatively temporary and unstructured group of people. In contrast a social movement is a large ongoing group of people engaged in organized behavior designed to bring about or resist change in society.

What are the four types of crowd behavior?

The casual crowd gathers around a specific event and its members have little interaction with one another. A conventional crowd gathers for a socially sanctioned purpose. An expressive crowd gathers specifically for the purpose of letting out emotions. An acting crowd focuses on a specific action or goal.

What do contagion and convergence theories say about crowd behavior?

LeBon's contagion theory is that a collective mind forms in a crowd which takes over the individual minds of crowd members and causes them to act alike. Convergence theory builds on this by suggesting that crowd members do not really lose their individuality in a group but act from their unconscious selves.

How do norms emerge in crowd interaction?

Turner and Killian say that as people interact in a crowd they form new norms for that specific crowd and as the norms emerge; the crowd pressures its members to conform to them.

When are crowds likely to use violence?

Crowds are more likely to use violence - rioting when they feel they are being oppressed and wish to overthrow their oppressors.

How does Neil Smelser explain collective behavior?

Smelser says six determinants are necessary and sufficient for a collective episode to occur. They are structural conduciveness, structural strain, growth and spread of a generalized belief, precipitating factors, mobilization of participants for action and the operation of social control.

Under what circumstances does a diffuse crowd form?

Diffuse crowd or mass behavior involves action by people with common concerns who may or may not have met each other.

Why do we believe in rumors and how do they affect our actions?

Rumors are information that travels from person to person usually by word of mouth. As they spread rumors become leveled or simplified and sharpened or focused on certain details. Rumors may be a casual factor in riots. It has been suggested that they are often a substitute for news.

How do hysteria and panic affect us?

Hysteria generalized anxiety about some unknown situation and panic an attempt to flee from an imagined or real threat often create behavior changes in individuals from illness caused by an imagined bug to flight out of town in response to an imagined invasion from Mars.

What is the difference between fashions and fads?

Fashions and fads are changing styles currently accepted by a part of the population but which are not considered a permanent part of the culture. Fashions change more gradually than fads.

What are the major influences on public opinion?

A public is an unorganized diffuse crowd with opinions on an issue of current interest. Public opinion is influenced in two major ways: by friends or reference groups and by members of that group whose judgment is considered important opinion leaders.

How does the mass media influence other social phenomena?

The national media strongly influence the formation of public opinion. They may also be a catalyst in social explosions such as riots. The fact that programming is now immediate leads to less sorting of what is important and what is not and may actually distort reality for the viewer.

What is the relationship between television and suicide?

David Philips and Lundie Carstensen determined that in the specific case of teenage suicide, media violence causes audience violence. They found that television news or feature stories about suicides triggered additional teenage suicides because of imitation.

What are four types of social movements?

Resistance movements are formed to resist a change that is already occurring in so ciety.Reform movements endeavor to change elements of the system as it currently stands.Revolutionery movements deny that the system will ever work and seek to replace it. Expressive movements concentrate on change among their members and their immediate social contacts.

How do social movements become professionalized?

It has been suggested that many social movements today have leaders whose primary function is to organize and obtain funds and support for a movement thus making it a highly centralized organization run by professionals.

What are the stages in the life of a social movement?

In the preliminary stage, society shows a restless concern over an issue on which people are divided. In the popular stage the movements begins to rally around a charismatic leader who speaks for reform,revolution,resistence or expression of self in such a way that people relate to the leader and begin to feel hopeful that their questions have answers. In the third stage, it destroys itself as a movement and becomes an institution with all the organized and accepted norms of society.
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