Chapter 16 Collective Behavior, Social Movements, and Social Change
Questions for you… What social factors mobilize people to begin a social movement? In your opinion, which social movement of the 20th century had the greatest impact on social change? How many social movements have you witnessed in your lifetime? What are the different types of crowds?
Chapter Outline Collective Behavior Social Movements Social Movement Theories Social Change in the Future
Collective Behavior Collective behavior is voluntary, often spontaneous activity that is engaged in by a large number of people and typically violates dominant-group norms and values. Collective behavior can take various forms, including crowds, mobs, riots, panics, fads, fashions, and public opinion. What forms of collective behavior have you taken part in?
Factors That Contribute to Collective Behavior Structural factors that increase the chances of people responding in a particular way. Timing in history of particular social event. Breakdown in social control mechanisms and corresponding feeling of normlessness.
How Much Do You Know About Collective Behavior and Environmental Issues? • True or False? • The environmental movement in the United States started in the 1960s.
How Much Do You Know About Collective Behavior and Environmental Issues? • False. • The environmental movement in the United States is the result of more than 100 years of collective action. • The first environmental organization, the American Forestry Association (now American Forests), originated in 1875.
How Much Do You Know About Collective Behavior and Environmental Issues? • True or False? • Sociologists have found that people in a community respond very similarly to natural disasters and to disasters caused by technological failures.
How Much Do You Know About Collective Behavior and Environmental Issues? • False. • Most sociological studies have found that people respond differently to natural disasters and to technological disasters. • One of the major differences is the communal bonding that tends to occur following natural disasters, as compared with the extreme social conflict that may follow technological disasters.
Types of Crowd Behavior Casual crowds - people who happen to be in the same place at the same time. Conventional crowds - people who come together for a scheduled event and share a common focus. Protest crowds - crowds that engage in activities intended to achieve political goals.
Types of Crowd Behavior Expressive crowds - people releasing emotions with others who experience similar emotions. Acting crowds - collectivities so intensely focused that they may erupt into violent behavior.
Polling Question • Have you ever participated in an organized protest? • Yes • No
Explanations of Crowd Behavior • Contagion Theory – • People are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior in a crowd because they are anonymous and feel invulnerable. • Le Bon asserted that emotions such as fear and hate are contagious in crowds because people experience a decline in personal responsibility; they will do things as a collectivity that they would never do when acting alone. • Social unrest and circular reaction – • Sociologist Robert E. Park was the first U.S. sociologist to investigate crowd behavior. • the discontent of one person is communicated to another who reflects it back to the first person.
Explanations of Crowd Behavior • Convergence theory – • focuses on the shared emotions, goals, and beliefs people bring to crowd behavior (Turner and Killian,1993). • people with similar attributes find a collectivity of like-minded persons with whom they can express their underlying personal tendencies. • Emergent norm theory - • crowds develop their own definition of the situation and establish norms for behavior that fits the occasion (Turner and Killian,1993).
Mass Behavior • Mass behavioris collective behavior that takes place when people (who often are geographically separated from one another) respond to the same event in much the same way.
Rumors and Gossip • Rumors are unsubstantiatedreports on an issue or subject (Rosnow and Fine, 1976). • Rumors thrive when tensions are high and when little authentic information is available on an issue of great concern. • Whereas rumors deal with an issue or a subject, gossip refers to rumors about the personal lives of individuals.
Mass Hysteria and Panic • is a form of dispersed collective behavior that occurs when a large number of people react with strong emotions and self-destructive behavior to a real or perceived threat. • Although the term has been widely used, many sociologists believe that this behavior is best described as a panic with a dispersed audience.
Fads and Fashions • A fad is a temporary but widely copied activity enthusiastically followed by large numbers of people. • Fashion is defined as a currently valued style of behavior, thinking, or appearance. • Fashion also applies to art, music, drama, literature, architecture, interior design, and automobiles, among other things. • Unlike fads, fashions tend to be longer lasting.
Public Opinion • Public opinion consists of theattitudes and beliefs communicated by ordinary citizens to decision makers (Greenberg and Page, 2002). • Scholars who examine public opinion are interested in the extent to which the public’s attitudes are communicated to decision makers and the effect (if any) that public opinion has on policy making (Turner and Killian, 1993). • Propaganda isinformation provided by individuals or groups, that have a vested interest in furthering their own cause, or damaging an opposing one.
Social Movements • A social movement is an organized group that acts consciously to promote or resist change through collective action (Goldberg, 1991). • Because social movements have not become institutionalized and are outside the political mainstream, they offer outsiders an opportunity to have their voices heard.
Social Movement Theories • Relative Deprivation Theory • People who are satisfied with their present condition are less likely to seek social change. Social movements arise as a response to people’s perception that they have been deprived of their “fair share” (Rose,1982).
Value-Added Theory • Smelser asserted, six conditions are necessary and sufficient to produce social movements when they combine or interact in a particular situation: • Structural conduciveness. • Structural strain. • Spread of a generalized belief. • Precipitating factors. • Mobilization for action. • Social control factors.
Social Constructionist Theory:Frame Analysis • Based on the assumption that a social movement is an interactive, symbolically defined, and negotiated process that involves participants, opponents and bystanders (Buechler, 2000). • Our interpretation of the particulars of events and activities is dependent on the framework from which we perceive them.
Resource Mobilization Theory • Focuses on the ability of members of a social movement to acquire resources and mobilize people in order to advance their cause (Oberschall, 1973; McCarthy and Zald, 1977). • Resources include money, people’s time and skills, access to the media, and material goods, such as property and equipment. • Assistance from outsiders is essential for social movements.
Political Opportunity Theory • Social protests are directly related to the political opportunities that potential protesters and movement organizers believe exist within the political system at any given point in time. • Based on the assumption that social protests that take place outside of mainstream political institutions are deeply intertwined with more conventional political activities that take place inside these institutions.
New Social Movement Theory • Looks at a diverse array of collective actions and the manner in which those actions are based on politics, ideology, and culture. • Examples of “new social movements” include ecofeminism and environmental justice movements.
Polling Question • Civil disobedience is better to use than militant activity for groups to get their point across for social change. • Strongly agree • Agree somewhat • Unsure • Disagree somewhat
Types of Social Movements Reform movements seek to improve society by changing an aspect of the social structure. Revolutionary movements seek to bring about a total change in society. Religious movements seek to produce radical change in individuals and typically are based on spiritual or supernatural belief systems.
Types of Social Movements Alternative movements seek limited change in some aspect of people's behavior. Resistance movements seek to prevent or undo change that has already occurred.
Stages in Social Movements Preliminary stage - people begin to become aware of a threatening problem. Coalescence stage - people begin to organize and start making the threat known to the public. Institutionalization stage - organizational structure develops.
Social Change in the Future • In this chapter, we have focused on collective behavior and social movements as potential forces for social change in contemporary societies. • A number of other factors also contribute to social change, including the physical environment, population trends, technological development, and social institutions.
1. A relatively large number of people who are in one another's immediate vicinity is a: • mass • crowd • collective • social group
Answer: B A relatively large number of people who are in one another's immediate vicinity is a crowd.
2. Relatively large gatherings of people who happen to be in the same place at the same time are a(n): • acting crowd • expressive crowd • casual crowd • mob
Answer: C Relatively large gatherings of people who happen to be in the same place at the same time are a casual crowd.
3. Movements that seek to prevent change or to undo change that has already occurred are: • revolutionary movements • alternative movements • religious movements • resistance movements
Answer: D Movements that seek to prevent change or to undo change that has already occurred are resistance movements.
4. Movements that seek limited change in some aspect of people's behavior are: • alternative movements • revolutionary movements • religious movements • resistance movements
Answer: A • Movements that seek limited change in some aspect of people's behavior are alternative movements.
5. ________ is based on the assumption that participants in social movements are rational people. • Relative deprivation theory • Social constructionist theory • Value added theory • Resource mobilization theory
Answer: D Resource mobilization theory is based on the assumption that participants in social movements are rational people.