Continuing the discussion from SOC101: Unit 5 Discussion:
Forms of Collective Behavior
Flash mobs are examples of
, noninstitutionalized activity in which several or many people voluntarily
engage. Other examples are a group of commuters traveling home from work and a population of teens adopting a favorite
singer’s hairstyle. In short, collective behavior is any group behavior that is not mandated or regulated by an institution.
There are three primary forms of collective behavior: the crowd, the mass, and the public.
It takes a fairly large number of people in close proximity to form a
(Lofland 1993). Examples include a group of
people attending an Ani DiFranco concert, tailgating at a Patriots game, or attending a worship service. Turner and Killian
(1993) identified four types of crowds.
consist of people who are in the same place at the same time but
who aren’t really interacting, such as people standing in line at the post office.
are those who come
together for a scheduled event that occurs regularly, like a religious service.
are people who join
together to express emotion, often at funerals, weddings, or the like. The final type,
focuses on a specific
goal or action, such as a protest movement or riot.
In addition to the different types of crowds, collective groups can also be identified in two other ways. A
relatively large number of people with a common interest, though they may not be in close proximity (Lofland 1993), such
as players of the popular Facebook game Farmville. A
, on the other hand, is an unorganized, relatively diffused
group of people who share ideas, such as the Libertarian political party. While these two types of crowds are similar, they
are not the same. To distinguish between them, remember that members of a mass share interests, whereas members of a
public share ideas