Social psychological dimensions and considerations

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НазваниеSocial psychological dimensions and considerations
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11.. At first glance, some readers might object to the conceptualization of collective behavior as group or collective problem-solving activity. Yet a close examination of virtually all varieties of collective behavior reveals some number of people engaging in joint action to deal with a particular problem, whether it be the need for more precise information, as with rumor, or thousands of homeless individuals and their advocates marching in Washington, D.C. to demand "housing now." Even in the case of so-called panic, where individuals are dealing with the perception of imminent danger, Johnson's research (1987a, 1987b) finds little evidence of unregulated, competitive, individualistic behavior. Instead, cooperative, coordinated behavior is more typical -- that is, people working together to deal with an immediate, pressing problem.

22. Readers wishing to review this material should consult one of the recent texts in the field, for example Turner and Killian (1987). A review of disaster research may be found in Dynes (1970). To those readers irritated by the omission of collective behavior from this review, we can only say that we unsuccessfully lobbied the editors of this volume either to commission a second article on collective behavior, or to permit us to write a longer review so that we could cover this material. Even within the boundaries we have defined, we have had to omit of provide only cursory mention of some important contributions. In choosing depth over breadth, we have been able to develop some important theoretical syntheses which, we believe, will prove to justify the decision.

33. Space does not permit us to acknowledge the points where particular traditions would dissent, but we assure readers that we are aware of these debates. We have omitted extended discussions of definitions in favor of more substantive issues.

44.. There has been a misguided tendency in much of the literature since the early 1970s to aggregate all work on crowds and social movements prior to about 1965 under the umbrella of the "collective behavior tradition." This not only lumps together apples and oranges (e.g. the work of Lebon, Freud, Blumer, Hoffer, Parsons, Kornhauser, Smelser, Lang and Lang, Turner and Killian, and Gusfield), but it glosses and blurs striking distinctions among these scholars. The result is often the creation of strawpersons, shoddy scholarship, and the failure to draw on useful insights and connective threads. Snow and Davis (1993) have attempted to correct this tendency in part by distinguishing between strain, symbolic interactionst, and resource mobilization conceptions of collective behavior, with emphasis on the symbolic interactionist or "Chicago" approach to collective behavior.

55. Ferree and Miller's paper was widely read and cited as an unpublished manuscript for years before it was published.

66. In this same period, other scholars with more macro orientations were examing the variations and complexities of organizational forms, and showing how movements' organizational forms vary cross-nationally and across time. By the late 1980s, however, scholars had abandoned the false dichotomy of micro versus macro, social psychology versus politics and organization, and had come to see both as important. Most scholars see forging links between these two areas of inquiry as one of the important agendas for the 1990s.

77. Most sociologists have misunderstood the logical implication of Olson's argument about the "irrationality" of collective action, which is not that collective action never occurs -- clearly a false empirical claim -- but that when collective action occurs, it must be either because the participants are not rational actors, or because they have additional individual motivations for action.

88.. For a number of useful and overlapping discussions of this "new social movements" perspective, see Klandermans (1986), Kressi (1988b), Rucht (1988), and Tarrow (1989a).

99.. For an insightful comparison of Melucci's conceptualization of collective identity with established uses of the identity concept in the social psychological literature, see Turner (1991b). Among other things, Turner notes that "Melucci's constructivism is almost indistinguishable from American symbolic interactionism" (p. 15). We would agree, at least with respect to the more processual, Blumerian version of symbolic interactionism. Insofar as this observation is based on an accurate reading of Melucci, then clearly his work represents a useful and important extension of the symbolic interactionist perspective on crowd dynamics and social movements.
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