Collective Behavior And Social
Nature And Meaning Of Collective
- refers to ways of thinking, feeling, and
acting which develop among a number of
people and which are relatively
spontaneous and unstructured
- refers to relatively non-routine actions
that engage large, often anonymous,
groups of people.
Theories About Collective Behavior
1. Ignorant mass Theory
– The belief that
collective behavior is the
result of uneducated,
2. Rational Decision Making Approach
- This theory presents an
opposite view of the Ignorant Mass
•Collective behavior can be brought
About by rational, and intelligent
decision when people are confronted
3. Emergent Norm
- This Holds that collective
behavior is not
characterized by unanimity
but by differences in
expressions and emotions.
4. Emotional and Social Contagion
- The belief that
transformation of individuals into
a crowd “puts them in possession
of a collective mind” that makes
people think, feel, and act
differently from the way they
would if they were alone.
5. Convergence Perspective – This
approach holds that participants in a
collective behavior are motivated by
common forces within them, such as
similarity or commonality of
aspirations, characteristics, social class,
income, education, interest and needs.
Example: ORGANIZED FUND RAISING;
GROUP MOBILIZATION EXPRESSING
THE CAUSE OF THE POOR
For example: Rallies carried
by the farmers,
and by other protest
The collectivity is
they share many
things in common.
6. Value – Added Approach
- according to Smelsers (1982),
there exist certain conditions
which may bring about collective
Ex: structural strain.
Preconditions for Collective Behavior
Neil Smelmers (1982) found that collective
behavior does not simply spring up at any
time, in any place. According to him, there
are six conditions, these determining
factor occurs in sequences so that each
one creates social environment that
makes the next one possible.
1. Structural Conduciveness
- Social conditions must favor collective
action. Ex: Ethnic groups with opposing
value system live together in the same area.
2.Social and Structural Stains
- Social strain can spring from a
sudden disruption of the existing social order,
from long-term social change, values conflict
between different segments of the society.
Ex; Rich and poor
3. Generalized Belief
- The participants develop vague
perceptions of the event or situation, thereby
making it more difficult to define and analyze
EXAMPLE: “PANIC BUYING”
- This refers to a dramatic episode that
happens to confirm people’s generalized belief. EX:
the assassination of Senator “NINOY” on August 21,
1983 led to mass demonstrations and EDSA
Revolution and eventual booting out of the former
president Ferdinand Marcos.
5. Mobilization of Participants
- After the facts are in and interpreted by
leaders and molders of public opinion, people
begin acting on their beliefs.
Mass hysteria break out, social movements are
organized, protest rallies and street violence
EX: JOURNALISTS AND MEDIA MEN PROTEST
THE MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE
6. Social Control
- Attempts to stop or
deflect the collective behavior
may only fuel the mass
hysteria. With an intensity
and zeal of mass actions,
social control becomes
Types or Collective Behavior
Blumer (1946) classified
collective behavior into
crowds, mass, public,
fashion, fad, crazes and
1. Crowds – These are
temporary collections of people
gathered around a person, an
issue, an attention- getting
object, or an event. They are
and relatively unstructured.
A. Milling – refers to the physical and verbal
activities of people in a relatively
B. Anonymity – is shown when members of
the crowd are not collectively and
C. Spontaneity – refers to the fact that the
members of the crowd join the group
spontaneously or voluntarily.
Characteristics of Crowd
C. Spontaneity – refers to the fact that the
member of the crowd join the group
spontaneously or voluntarily due to their
intense interest or emotion.
D. Circular Interaction – is a mutual
intensification of the feeling experienced by the
members of the crowd. Refers to the spread of
the particular emotion in the crowd.
E. Heightened Suggestibility – refers to the
greater tendency on the part of the individual
to respond uncritically to the suggestion of the
leader of the group.
Types of Crowd
1. Casual Crowd – refers to
whose members come and go,
giving but temporary attention
to the person or object which
has aroused their interest.
Crowd – refers to a
planned gathering of
people at specific
events at a definite
place and time.
3.Acting Crowd – refers to an emotionally
excited volatile collection of people who focus
on a controversial event that provokes their
indignation, anger, and desire to act.
Ex: an accident of police brutality
4.Expressive Crowd – refers to an
emotionally charged congregation of
people whose member are carried
away by enthusiasm and other
Ex: Rock festival
5. Panics – refers to situations in
which people are largely affected by
fear and collective fight.
Ex: Stampedes and panic buying
Role of Rumor in Collective Action
Rumor – is an unverified story that circulates from
a person to person and is accepted as fact,
although its sources may be vaque or unknown. As
a rumor travels it tends to grow shorter, more
concise, more easily grasped and told. Fewer
words and fewer details are mentioned. People
tend to “correct” details to make the story
Rumor differ from gossip. Gossip involves known
fact. Further, gossip deals with the personal affairs
of individuals whereas rumor typically deal with
events and issues of greater importance and
Mass – refers to a diffused collectively of
people, each responding independently to the
same stimulus or event.
ex: migration to USA; pilgrimage in Mecca
Fashion, Fads, Crazes
Fashion – refers to the relatively, short-lived
socially variations in clothing and adornment,
art, housing and furniture, and other areas of
Ex: modern Trends in hair and dresses styles.
Fads – refers to passing fancies or novelties of
interest related to some trivial deviations from
the conventional behavior.
ex: use of homosexual language and slang
Craze – refers to a new activities which become
important in the life of the community.
ex: dance craze; computer games craze
Disaster Behavior –this type of behavior is
elicited in times of disaster and calamities,
such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions,
typhoons or hurricanes, and epidemics. It
combines panic, crowd and mass
Ex: Behavior observed during the Mt.
pinatubo eruption, floods in Leyte towns,
Public – Turner(1987) defines the public as “a
dispersed group of people interested in and
divided about an issue, engaged in discussion
of that issue with a view to registering a
Public opinion – refers to the collective product
of the discussion and arrival at a decision. Ist is
expected to affect the course of action of some
decision-making group of individuals.
Ex: people engaged in discussion of charter
change issue; election scandal isssue
Division of Public
1. interest group – it has an immediate in the
way an issue is met. Is shapes and sets the
Ex: Political parties; business community
2. Disinterest group – it includes the spectators
in the position of a judge. It holds a strategic
and decisive place because the position and
decision would be determine which of the
competing schemes would be carried out.
Pressure Group – it is also similar to interest
group whose activity is to pressure decision-
making bodies to act favorably on the side of
the issue it is fighting for.
ex: the Catholic church; workers associations.
Following – it is a group which is interested
enough to follow issues but which makes no
attempts to form opinions regarding it.
Neutral or Listening public – it is composed of
individuals who have not yet decided which
side to follow.
Meaning and Nature of Social
– as an interrelated and co-acting unity of persons
with some degree of organizational continuity to
promote or resist change in the society of which it
is a part.
- refers to an interested and motivated
gathering of people which aims to modify or
change the society’s structure or ideology in a
concerted and deliberate manner.
Ex: Women’s Liberation movement,
environmental Protection Movement
Comparison of Collective Behavior
And Social Movement
Collective Behavior – refers to relatively non-
routine actions that engage large, often
anonymous, group of people. It does not follow
the established norms and patterns of
Social movement – on the other hand, is
another form of social behavior which also
occurs outside the institutional framework of
our everyday life. It is a “conscious, collective,
organized attempt to bring about resist large-
scale change in the social order by non-
institutionalized means (1973 Wilson)
Types of Social Movements
1. Alternative movements – refers to
movements that aim to achieve some limited
but specific change in individuals.
EX: religious Movements on Morality and Ethics
2. Redemptive movements – refers to
movements that also focus on the individual,
but they seek total, not partial change.
Ex: Christian Movements; Couples for Christ
3. Reformative Movements
- refers to movements that emphasize changing
society rather than individuals. Their aim is
moderate or partial change since they view the
present social order as basically workable.
Ex: Civil rights movements; human rights
4. Transformative Movements
- refers to movements that aim at total in the
existing social order.
ex: the Philippine Revolution of 1896; the
1. Meaning and Nature of Mass communication
- refers to an organized communication through
organizational structures. It is directed towards
a relatively large audience during a short
periods of time or even instantly. (Wright,
Collective behavior and social movements depend
heavily on mass communication among many
2. Form of Mass Media
B. Electronic/ Broadcast
3. Motion Picture
6. Audio and Video Tapes
3. Roles of Mass Media
The mass media perform the following roles:
A. To provide information to a large number of people
B. To provide education to the masses
C. to provide entertainment
D. To clarity/ventilate issue and concerns
E. to serve as avenues for propaganda
F. To provide avenues for expression of partisan and
G. to generate public opinion or call for collective
behavior and social movements.
H. To serve as a vehicle for the expression of arroused
feelings, pent-up emotions and redress of grievances.