collective behaviour

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collective behaviour

the action or behaviour of people in groups and crowds -crowd behaviour – where, as the result of physical proximity, and the protection and contagion of the group, the action of individuals is out-of-the-ordinary, tends to depart from routine standards of social demeanour, and may be more than usually explosive and unpredictable. In early sociological and social psychological theories of collective behaviour (notably in the work of Gustav LeBon, The Crowd, 1895), as well as in more recent theories (e.g. Smelser, 1962), it is seen as a potential threat to normal social order. As such, the various forms of collective behaviour, including such phenomena as rallies, riots and rebellions, sometimes play a significant part in SOCIAL MOVEMENTS and SOCIAL CHANGE.
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