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Collective Behavior and Social Movement

Most social behaviors are patterned and follow agreed-upon rules. We may interact with each other based on specific social statuses and roles, or participate in rituals of social solidarity. However, others act in a way that seems to escape the control of common expectations, and their behavior is labeled as dangerous, unpredictable or bizarre. What is collective behavior? Collective behavior refers to a relatively spontaneous social actions that occur when people respond to unstructured and undefined social situations. Collective behavior is characterized by behavior which is not controlled by cultural norms and ordered social relations. There is a free play of emotions, a high degree of personal interactions, and the emergence of opinions and loyalties. Examples: Riots, mass hysteria Panics, mobs Protests, demonstrations Fads, fashion, rumors What is a collectivity? Collective behavior involves the action of some collectivitya large number of people whose minimal interaction occurs on the absence of well-defined and conventional norms. Difference of collectivity from social groups: Collectivities have limited interaction Group members interact frequently and directly People in localized collectivity interact very little; others taking part in dispersed collectivity do not interact at all. Collectivities have no clear social boundaries Group members have a sense of identity People in localized collectivity may have a common object of attention, but show little of unity. Individuals involved in dispersed collectivities have almost no awareness of shared membership. Collectivities generate weak and unconventional norms Conventional cultural norms usually regulate the behavior of group members What is the importance of the study of collectivity? Collective behavior is the forerunner and cause of social changeculminating in the appearance and establishment of new norms, new institutions and social reforms. Hence, in spite of its transitory nature, collective behavior has an enduring significance. Mechanisms of Collective Behavior People experience feelings of unrest and dissatisfaction with an existing situation but are unable to resolve themmilling. Millinga situation where a number of people engaging in aimless and irregular movement increasingly excite one another.

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Milling increases the response of individuals to one another, giving rise to rapport and thus makes individuals susceptible to suggestions. When individuals are under the influence of a common mood, the arousal may be so intense resulting to collective excitement. Collective excitementan intense form of milling where people lose normal control of themselves as they are aroused emotionally, making them unstable and irresponsible. When collective excitement reaches an almost unbearable state, it results in a condition known as social contagion. Social contagion refers to relatively rapid and non-rational dissemination of a mood, impulse or form of conduct, attracting people and influencing them to engage in the behavior. Elementary collective behavioremotionalized and spontaneous variety generally characterized by wild erratic behavior as participants are not guided by established conventions or norms. Their elementary nature is suggested by their short life, their spontaneity and simple form of emotional interplay. Social movementthe more developed type characterized by a more or less predictable behavior in terms of general direction.

Basic Forms of Collective Behavior

Types of Elementary Collective Behavior Localized collectivitypeople in physical proximity to one another (e.g. crowds, riots, panics) Dispersed or unstructured collectivityor mass behavior, involves people who influence one another even though they are separated by great distances (e.g., rumors, mass hysteria, public opinion, fads, fashion) Localized Collectivity: CROWDS Crowd is a temporary gathering of a large number of people who react to a common focus of attention or interest and engage in spontaneous interaction. In a crowd, individuals are drawn together in a situation that has a potential to stimulate an emotional reaction. Examples: Crowds at sporting events, Rock concerts, Demonstrations, College registration Characteristics of Crowds Anonymitythe members of the crowd are not collectively and individually identified. Spontaneitymembers lose self-consciousness and are carried away by the emotionality of the crowd. Uncertaintythe participants do not share clear expectations about how to behave or about the outcome of their collective behavior. Sense of urgencypeople in the crowd feel that something must be done right away to solve a common problem. Circular reactionthe mutual intensification of feelings or communication of mood already experienced by the members of the crowd. Heightened suggestibilityas excitement increases, there is a greater tendency on the part of the individual to respond uncritically to the suggestions of others and go along impulsively with their actions. Permissivenessthe freedom from the constraints of conventional norms making people take actions that they would suppress under ordinary circumstances. Types of Crowd

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Casual crowda loose collection of people who interact little, if not at all. It is a momentary gathering as people are attracted by something interesting, but without form or sense of oneness and involves little emotional feeling. Examples: People at the beach People at the scene of car accident or a street fight People watching someone threatening to jump from a building Conventional crowda crowd that has a specific purpose and results from deliberate planning in which interaction conforms to norms appropriate to the situation. It is made up of members who assemble at a definite time and place and follow certain regulations regarding their conduct. Examples: Funeral of a celebrity Athletic contests People watching movies or games Expressive crowdforms around an event with emotional appeal, especially excitement, making the crowd experience spontaneous and exhilarating for those involved. It is made up of people who gather together with no definite purpose beyond unleashing emotion. People in expressive crowds mill about and finally express themselves in some non-purposive manner. The most distinctive trait of expressive crowd is the sense of excitement and free expression of emotion which takes the form of uniform movement such as clapping of hands, stamping of feet, shouting, singing and weeping. Examples: Religious revival World Wrestling Federation match Street parties for New Years Eve celebration Spectators of cultural festivals Audience in carnivals Acting crowdmotivated by intense, single-minded purpose. Acting crowds are goal-oriented, ignited by very powerful emotions, which can reach a feverish intensity and sometimes erupt into mob violence or aggressive behavior. The collective action of members in an acting crowd stems mostly from emotionality rather than from rational thinking. The most important characteristic of this type of crowd is the presence of an objective toward which the activity of the crowd is aimed. Examples: People fleeing from a burning theater Audience rushing the doors of a concert hall Types of Acting Crowd: When an acting crowd turns violent, we may witness the birth of a moba highly disorderly and emotional crowd that pursues a violent or destructive goal. Examples: lynch mobs, terrorism Riota frenzied crowd without any particular purpose; a social eruption that is highly emotional, violent and undirected. Unlike the action of a mob, a riot usually has no clear goal, perhaps just to express dissatisfaction, rebellion and resentment. Examples: Industrial workers who rioted to vent rage over their working conditions; An ordinary rally stopped by the military with tear gas and the demonstrators fought back

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Protest crowdmotivated by deliberate action of rising emotion and may stage strikes, boycotts, sitins and marches for political purposes. Examples: Anti-war demonstrations prior to war in Iraq by the United States Political rallies against GMA Theories on Crowd Behavior Contagion (Mentalist) Theory Gustave Le Bon argued that once individuals experience the sense of anonymity in a crowd, concern for proper behavior and norm disappear and people abandon personal moral responsibility and surrender to the contagious emotions of the crowd. The contagion theory asserts that members of a crowd acquire crowd mentality, lose their characteristic inhibitions, and become highly receptive to group sentiments. But why do individuals give up their individuality and let themselves become part of a collective mind? The reason is social contagionthe spreading of a certain emotion and action from one member of the crowd to another. Crowds exert a hypnotic influence over their members, stirring up emotions and driving people toward irrational, even violent action. Convergence Theory Convergence theory holds that crowd behavior is not a product of the crowd itself but is carried into the crowd by particular individuals. That is, the crowd is a convergence of like-minded individuals who share emotions, attitudes, needs, goals and beliefs such as racial hatred. While contagion theory states that crowds cause people to act in certain way, convergence theory says the opposite: people who wish to act in a certain way come together to form crowds.. Example: anti-war protests Emergent Norm Theory Developed by Ralph Turner and Lewis Killian (1993), the emergent norm theory concedes that social behavior is never entirely predictable, but if similar interests draw people together, distinctive patterns of behavior may emerge in the crowd. Although they accept the idea that crowd appears to act as homogenous group, people in a crowd may have different feelings, attitudes or beliefs and they participate because of diverse motives. Emergent norm theory asserts that crowds begin as collectivities containing people with mixed interests and motives. As they interact and participate in collective behavior, they acquire common standards of behavior by observing and listening to one another. Hence, contagion plays a role in establishing the crowds norms. Emergent norm theory states that crowds develop their own definition of a situation and establish norms of behavior that fits the occasion. Hence, rulesor emergent normsdevelop within crowds to tell people how they are expected to behave. Dispersed Collectivity: MASS BEHAVIOR What is mass behavior? Mass behavior refers to collective behavior among people dispersed over a wide geographic area. Types of Mass Behavior:

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The Mass A mass is a relatively large group whose members participate jointly but independently in an event. A mass sustains no norms and has no established authority. Examples: mass evacuation during volcanic eruption, earthquake, war Characteristics of Mass: 1. Its membership comes from all walks of life and from different levels of social strata. 2. It is composed of anonymous individuals as members do not know each other. 3. There is little interaction or sharing of common experiences among members.

The Public The public is a group of people confronted by an issue and engaged in discussion of the issue. It is a dispersed group reached through the mass media of communication. It has no definite membership or formal organization. Characteristics of the Public: 1. The public has no culture; it has to act because of the existence of an issue. 2. The public does not have the organization of society; members do not have the definite status or roles and they lack the we-feeling. 3. The public is marked by disagreement and discussion. The interaction is characterized by conflict relations. 4. The discussion that takes places within the public is rational. Five Divisions of Public: 1. Interest groupsthose that have an immediate concern in the way an issue is met. Their main concern is to manipulate public opinion. 2. Disinterested groupsthe spectators in the position or judge, holding a strategic and decisive place because their decision would determine which of the competing schemes would be carried out. 3. Pressure groupsmake their appearance when people become dissatisfied with merely arriving at an opinion. 4. Followinga group of people who are interested enough to follow issues but who make no attempt to form opinions regarding them. 5. Neutral or listening publiccomposed of individuals who have not yet decided which side they will follow. Public Opinion Whenever a public comes into being, it forms an opinion. Public opinion is the collection of ideas and attitudes shared by the members of a particular public. Public opinion as another form of dispersed collective behavior, is widespread attitudes about controversial issues. Public opinion seems fickle and change easily. Propaganda is the information presented with the intention of shaping public opinion. We offer information to enlighten others; we use propaganda to sway an audience toward some viewpoint. Examples: political speeches, commercial advertising Rumors and Gossips Rumor refers to unsubstantiated information or whose truth is unquestionable that people spread informally, often by word of mouth.

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Rumors usually focus on people or events that are of great interest to others. Examples: McDonalds adding earthworms to hamburgers The Procter & Gambles logo showing 13 stars and a man in the moon was a sign of devil worship Rumor is a communication people use in an effort to comprehend what is going on in a situation where information is lacking. Rumors are not necessarily falsethey are merely unverified stories spread from one person to another. As the story circulates, each person distorts the account by dropping some items and adding ones interpretation. Characteristics of Rumors: 1. Rumor thrives in a climate of ambiguityrumors rise when people lack definitive information about an important issue. 2. Rumor is unstablepeople change a rumor as they pass it along, resulting to competing versions. 3. Rumor is difficult to stopas information is spread, the number of people involve increases exponentially. Gossipsare rumors about peoples personal affairs. While rumors involve an issue of concern to a large audience, gossips interest only a small circle of people who know a particular person. Rumors, thus, spread widely, while gossip tends to be more localized. Gossips are used by the community as a means of social control, praising or scorning someone to encourage conformity to local norms.

Mass Hysteria and Panic Mass hysteria, or moral panic, exists when collective anxiety is created by acceptance of one or more false beliefs. Mass hysteria dissipated only after the false beliefs were discredited. Sometimes the fears are overblown and at times justified. Examples: fear of AIDS or SARS Panic occurs when people react to a real threat in fearful, anxious, frantic, irrational and often self-destructive behavior. Panic is a response to unexpected events such as fires, invasions and ship sinking. Fads, Crazes and Fashion Fads are unusual or unconventional patterns of behavior that spread rapidly, are embraced zealously, and disappear after a short time. The popularity of fads rests largely on its novelty or innovation. Fads are similar to fashion but are less predictable, less respectable and shorter-lived. Fads are basically trivial, but they can be a source of status to some people and give them a sense of being part of the group. Examples: Body piercing and tattooing, wearing ripped jeans, Pokemon cards Craze is a fad with serious consequence as it is more bizarre and harmful. Usually, crazes are economic in nature: Boompeople frantically try to buy something of wildly exaggerated value Bustmany frantically try to sell a worthless thing. Examples: craze for rubber slippers, craze for tulips in Holland in 1634. Fashions are patterns of behavior that are favored by large number of people but expected to change periodically.

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Practically, all aspects of human lifeclothes, hairstyles, architecture, music and the arts are influenced by fashion. Fashions generally have a direct relationship to prestige. Examples: Clothing, jewelry, car, home decoration, communications, gadgets How do fads differ from fashions? Fashions evolve over time and usually have a longer life than fads. Fads are passing fancies that capture the mass imagination but quickly burn out. Fashions reflect basic cultural values like individuality and hence, are incorporated into societys culture.

A group of students from the League of Filipino Students (LFS) demonstrated in front of CHED denouncing the increase in tuition fees. Thousands of peasants from different provinces under the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) demanded for a genuine agrarian reform. Hundreds of urban poor led by Kapisan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) rallied at Mendiola Bridge to call for legislation on housing and urban land reform. Women activists organized by Gabriela denounced the Subic rape incident. The people converged outside the Paranaque Regional Trial Court awaiting the verdict on the Vizconde massacre. Most of them were members of the Crusade Against Violence. What is a social movement? When collective action becomes more united and lasting and exhibits certain characteristic features, it is called social movement. Social movements are organized, non-institutionalized and more purposive efforts by large number of people to change or preserve major aspects of society. Social movements almost always come about as a result of injustice, intolerance, greed and exploitation. Social movements use a variety of unconventional techniques: boycotts, demonstrations, rallies, riots, etc. As a form of collective behavior, social movement has a structure, is deliberately organized, the longest and is the most likely to create change and have lasting effects on society. Features of a social movement Distinctive perspective and ideology The ideology of the movement provides direction and self-justification for an action. Strong sense of solidarity and idealism A member of a social movement feels he is part of an undertaking marked by high idealism. Orientation toward action The stress on actioneven with the use of unconventional methodsis necessary in order to maintain interest and solidarity among members as well as to foster interest and involvement in the movement. Types of social movement Social movements are classified according to how they answer the following: Who is changed? How much change? Some movements seek only limited change in our lives, while others are more radical.

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Types of social movement Reactionary or regressive movement This seeks to restore society to a former condition as members aim to go back to the good old days or to revive past social patterns and reverse the current trends. Conservative or resistance movement This aims to retain the status quo, to fight proposed changes that other movements might attempt to bring about. This usually arises when there is threat of change that will undermine the status quo. Examples: Ku Klux Klan in the United States Reform or revisionary movement This is basically satisfied with the existing social order, but believe that certain or partial changes are necessary in specific areas of society. It aims to improve society through legal means or by working inside the existing political system. Examples: civil rights movement, womens rights movement, ecology movement, antinuclear movement Revolutionary movement This is deeply dissatisfied with the existing social order and work for total, radical change with the goal of overthrowing or re-organizing the existing form of government and replacing it with a new one. It typically resorts to violence or illegal action. Examples: Katipunan, CPP-NPA, MILF, Bolshevik revolution in Russia, communist revolution in China Escapist or retreatist movement It does not seek to change society at all, but to withdraw from it and its corruption. Examples are religious sects that have withdrawn from society. Expressive or redemptive movement This aims to change the psychological and emotional state of individual members, not the society. Examples are religious movement that aims to convert individuals to a particular faith (e.g. Jesus is Lord Movement), fashion movements or psychological movement (e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous). Mechanisms of social movement Effective tacticsto ensure success of the cause, careful planning of strategy should be effected. Agitationit serves to obtain new recruits to a movement. Esprit de corpsgives participants a sense of oneness in their endeavors; it builds feelings of unity, closeness and camaraderie that inspires and strengthens the movement. High moralewidely felt and deeply experienced conviction that the ideals of the movement will eventually triumph. Ideologyserves as a coherent statement describing the nature of reality while indicating how it should be changed. Ideology refers to a body of doctrines giving both direction and hope. Theories of social movement Frustration Theory (Eric Hoffer)

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It asserts that those who participate in social movements are frustrated and troubled; they use social movements as diversion to hide their personal problems. Social movement provides these individuals with a sense of belonging and being noble as they fight a good cause beyond their self-interest.

Mass Society Theory (William Korhauser) Social movement attracts socially-isolated people who feel personally insignificant. Hence, social movement is personal as well as political in that they offer a sense of belonging and purpose to people otherwise adrift in society. People with weak social ties are those who most readily join a social movement. Breakdown-Frustration Theory It contends that a social breakdown (e.g. widespread unemployment, human rights violations) can cause a social movement by creating frustration among the people. Thus, individuals identify a common sense of discontent, work out plan to eradicate it and bond together to carry out the plan. Relative Deprivation Theory Relative deprivation is a perceived disadvantage arising from some specific comparison. When people compare themselves with others and believe that they are deprived of some benefits (e.g. lack of income, political rights, human dignity), they may organize a social movement to bring about a more just state of affairs. Example: the French Revolution was a result of deprivation felt Value-Added Theory (Neil Smelser) Six factors that encourage the development of social movements: 1. Structural conducivenesspeople must become aware of significant problems in society and have the opportunity to engage in collective action. 2. Structural strainwhen society could not meet peoples expectations that something should be done, this result to strain. 3. Generalized beliefa clear statement of the problem and a shared view of its cause, effects and possible solution. 4. Precipitating factorsan inciting incident or specific event that reinforce the existing generalized belief. 5. Mobilization for actionleaders emerge to organize and give a sense of direction to members of the movement; once people share a concern about an issue, they are ready to take action. 6. Social control factorefforts on the part of the society to prevent or minimize the momentum of the movement. Resource Mobilization Theory It argues that no social movement is likely to succeedor even get off the groundwithout substantial resources for mobilization. Such resources include strong organization, effective leadership, human labor, material goods, means of communication and media access. Culture Theory Cultural symbols are also factors that mobilize social movements. When people develop shared understanding of the world, they are motivated to seek collective action. Social movements gain strength as people develop symbols and sense of community that generate strong feelings into organized action. Examples: photos of children in bombing helped fuel anti-war movement; media images of burning World Trade Center mobilized people to support war against terrorism.

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Political-Economy Theory It is Marxist-based which points out that social movements arise within capitalists societies because the capitalist economic system fails to meet the needs of the majority of people. Social movements arise as a response to conditions of crisis, widespread poverty and other social problems.