Soc 220 mass and movement


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Soc 220 mass and movement

  1. 1. Chapter 20 Mass Behavior and Social Change
  2. 2. Mass Behavior  Mass behavior is collective behavior that takes place when people (who often are geographically separated from one anther) respond to the same event in much the same way.
  3. 3. Mass Behavior  Rumors are unsubstantiated reports on an issue or subject, while gossip refers to rumors about the personal lives of individuals.  Rumors may spread through an assembled collectivity, or they may spread among dispersed people.  Rumors may be modified as they are spread, and tend to be accepted when no opposing information is available.  In industrialized societies, rumors come from a wide variety of sources and may be difficult to trace.  Similarly, gossip may be spread about someone most people have never met (e.g., celebrities).
  4. 4. Mass Behavior  Mass hysteria 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.  Many sociologists believe this behavior is best described as a panic with a dispersed audience.
  5. 5. Mass Behavior  Fads and fashions  A fad is a temporary but widely copied activity enthusiastically followed by large numbers of people.  Fashion is 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.  Fashions tend to be longer lasting.  Simmel, Veblen, and Bourdieu have all viewed fashion as a means of status differentiation.
  6. 6. Mass Behavior  Public opinion consists of the attitudes and beliefs communicated by ordinary citizens to decision makers (as measured through polls and surveys based on interviews and questionnaires).  Even on a single topic, public opinion will vary widely based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, region, residence, social class, education level, gender, and age.  As the masses attempt to influence elites and vice versa, a two-way process occurs with the dissemination of propaganda.  Propaganda is information provided by individuals or groups that have a vested interest in furthering their own cause or damaging an opposing one.
  7. 7. Mass Behavior  In a word document that you will upload into the appropriate dropbox respond to the following question(s).  What are some current fads and recent fashions? How long do you think they will last? What do you think of Simmel, Veblen, and Pierre’s idea that fashion is linked to social class?
  8. 8. Social Movements A social movement is an organized group that acts consciously to promote or resist change through collective action.  Social movements are more likely to develop in industrialized societies than in preindustrial societies; diversity and a lack of consensus contribute to demands for social change.
  9. 9. Social Movements  Social movements are more likely to emerge when people view their problems as public issues that cannot be solved without a collective response.  Most social movements rely on volunteers to carry out their work. Women have been strongly represented in both membership and leadership of many grassroots social movements.
  10. 10. Social Movements  Reform movements  These seek to improve society by changing some specific aspect of the social structure.  Examples include labor movements, animal rights movements, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the disability rights movement.  Some of these movements arise to change responses to stigmatized groups (e.g., civil rights and gay rights movements).
  11. 11. Social Movements  Revolutionary movements  These seek to bring about a total change in society.  Terrorism is the calculated, unlawful use of physical force or threats of violence against persons or property in order to intimidate or coerce a government, organization, or individual for the purpose of gaining some political, religious, economic, or social objective.
  12. 12. Social Movements  Religious movements  These seek to produce radical change in individuals and typically are based on spiritual or supernatural belief systems.  Some religious movements are millenarian, which forecast that the “end” is near and assert that a change in behavior is imperative.
  13. 13. Social Movements  Alternative movements  These seek limited change in some aspect of people's behavior (e.g., a movement that attempts to get people to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages).  New Age movements, vegetarianism, and yoga are often grouped here.
  14. 14. Social Movements  Resistance movements  These seek to prevent or to undo change that already has occurred.  Examples include radical anti-abortionists.
  15. 15. Social Movements  Stages in social movements  In the preliminary stage, widespread unrest is present as people begin to become aware of a threatening problem. Leaders emerge to agitate others into taking action.  In the coalescence stage, people begin to organize and start making the threat known to the public. Some movements become formally organized at local and regional levels.  In the institutionalization stage, an organizational structure develops, and a paid staff (rather than volunteers) begins to lead the group.
  16. 16. Question 2  How do reform movements differ from revolutionary movements? Why is terrorism a potential threat to societal stability?