Collective Behavior

11901 WordsMar 10, 201348 Pages
Chapter I: The Study of Collective Behavior A. What Is Collective Behavior? As we review these pages for the final time sections of Los Angeles are in flames in response to a jury verdict exonerating police whose beating of an African American man was captured on videotape. Supporters and opponents of abortion take to the streets daily. Mexico City searches for answers to a gas explosion that leveled a 40 square block area. The number of men wearing pony tails and one earring and the number of people saying and understanding "yo, dude" seems to be increasing. These diverse actions fall within the area sociologists call collective behavior. Some fields in sociology are relatively easy to define and their meaning can be grasped immediately,…show more content…
Quarantelli and Russell Dynes, has had a world-wide impact. The center has served as a clearing house and international model for other research centers and researchers. Its research has been useful to disaster planning and control efforts. As we will note in chapter III the research on disasters has revealed some counter-intuitive findings. Apart from its direct usefulness, knowledge of collective behavior is relevant to you as an educated person and as a participant in a democratic society. It calls attention to some of the most basic questions about human beings. There is the question posed by Hobbes: how is social order possible? How fragile is the social order and what happens when it breaks down? There is the question raised by Freud: how rational is modern man in an industrial urban setting? There is the question posed by Karl Marx: how do societies change? Does history follow a pre-determined path? Are individuals simply pawns of some more profound historical necessity or do persons make their own history? Why are social reform efforts frequently unsuccessful or limited in their impact or duration? Of course in this short text we can not begin to do justice to these questions, but the study of collective behavior offers one way to approach them. As a social science field its eclectic nature gives it some distinctive elements. Those concerned with ever greater
Open Document