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Social Movements
and Social Change
Chapter 18
Early Explanations of Collective
Behaviour
Charles MacKay (1814-1889)
 Herd Mentality
 Gustav LeBon (1841-1931)
 Collective Mind

• Crowds and feelings of anonymity
• Feelings of invincibility
 Contagion
Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-2
Early Explanations of Collective
Behaviour

Herbert Blumer (1900-1987)
 “Acting Crowd”
• An excited group that moves toward a
goal
• Tension or unrest
• Exciting event
• Milling
• A common object of attention
• Common impulses
Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-3
Blumer’s Model of How an
Acting Crowd Develops
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18-4
Contemporary Theories of
Collective Behaviour

The Minimax Strategy
 Costs and rewards of
participation
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18-5
Contemporary Theories of
Collective Behaviour

Emergent Norms
 New definitions of “right and
wrong”
• The ego-involved
• The concerned
• The insecure
• The curious spectators
• The exploiters
Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-6
Forms of Collective
Behaviour



Riots and Demonstrations
 Violent crowd behaviour aimed against
people and property
Panics
 Unable to function properly due to fear;
may flee
Moral Panics
 Large numbers of people become
concerned with some behaviour thought to
threaten morality
Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-7
Forms of Collective Behaviour


Rumours
 Thrive in conditions of ambiguity; fill in missing
information
 Short-lived
Fads and Fashions
 Fad:
• Behaviour that briefly catches people’s attention
• Spreads by suggestion, imitation, & identification with people
already involved in the fad

Fashion:
• A fad that lasts

Urban Legends
 Stories with an ironic twist; sound realistic, but are false
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18-8
Social Movements
 Large
numbers of people who
organize to promote or resist
social change
• Proactive Social Movements
• Reactive Social Movements
 Social
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Movement Organizations
18-9
Types of Social Movements

Alterative Social Movements
 Seek only to alter a particular
behaviour of individuals
 e.g., MADD (Mothers Against Drunk
Driving)

Redemptive Social Movements
 Total change of individuals
 e.g., Christianity
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18-10
Types of Social Movements

Reformative Social Movements
 Reform a specific aspect of society
 e.g., environmental movements

Transformative Social Movements
 Seek to transform the social order
itself
 e.g., revolutions
Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-11
Types of Social Movements
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18-12
Tactics of Social Movements
Membership
 The Publics
 Relationship to Authorities
 Other Factors

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18-13
The Membership and Publics of
Social Movements
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18-14
Social Movements & the Media


Public Opinion
Propaganda
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18-15
Why People Join Social
Movements
Mass Society Theory
 Mass society: an impersonal,
industrialized, highly bureaucratized
society
 Effects of social isolation
 Deprivation Theory
 The desire to achieve money, justice,
status, or privilege
 “Relative deprivation theory”
18-16

Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
Why People Join Social
Movements
Moral Issues and Ideological
Commitment
 “moral shock”
 “ideological commitment”
 The Agent Provocateur
 “Insider” whose job it is to
infiltrate social movements,
perhaps sabotage activities

Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-17
The Life Course of Social
Movements

5 Stages
 Initial unrest and agitation
 Resource mobilization
 Organization
 Institutionalization
 Organizational decline and
possible resurgence
Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-18
Social Change
The alteration of culture and society
over time
 Brought about by people organized
into social movements

Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-19
How Technology Changes
Society
Technology
 Tools
 Skills or procedures to make and use
tools
 Postindustrial or Postmodern Societies
 Technology: Artificial means of
extending human abilities
 New Technologies

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18-20
How Technology Changes
Society

Modernization
 The changes brought about by
industrialization
 Effects on social life
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18-21
Comparing
Traditional &
Modern Societies
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18-22
Technology: Ogburn’s Theory of
Social Change
Invention
 Discovery
 Diffusion
 Cultural Lag


A Two-Way Process?
Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-23
Technology: Transforming
Society
Transformation of Existing
Technologies
 Changes in Social Organization
 Changes in Ideology
 Transformation of Values
 Transformation of Social
Relationships

Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-24
Technology: Transforming
Society

The Automobile
 Displacement of Existing
Technology
 Effects on Cities
 Changes in Architecture
 Changed Courtship Customs and
Sexual Norms
 Effects on Women’s Roles
Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-25
Technology: Transforming
Society

The Computer
• Medicine
• Education
• The Workplace
Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-26
Technology: Transforming
Society
Cyberspace and Social Inequalities in
the 21st Century
 Information superhighway
 Information haves and have-nots
 Who controls the superhighway?

Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-27
Contemporary Theories of
Social Change
Evolutionary Theories
 Unilinear Theories
 Multilinear Theories
 Marxist Conflict Theories
 Cyclical Theories
 Feminist Theories
 Postmodern Theories

Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-28
Contemporary Theories of
Social Change
Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada
18-29
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