COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL MOVEMENT
The rumor is just one of the fascinating kinds of collective behavior. Collective behavior is not an easy field to study scientifically. Riots and panics do not take place under the calm gaze of a visiting sociologist. Deliberately to provoke such behavior would put us in jail. Besides, just how would a sociologist conduct an interview in the midst of a mob or panic?We are limited to eyewitness accounts by observer sand participants, to police records, newspaper accounts, and other scattered data. Seldom can we locate a representative sample of participants 'for systematic study. There' have' been ingenious attempts to duplicate crowd conditions of behavior in a laboratory for purposes pf research, but few types of crowd behavior can be reproduced in a laboratory. Even these limitations we have a good f descriptive information, together with some .empirical research, from which we have developed certain insights into collective behavior.deser's definition, "mobilization on the basis of a belief which redefines social action" [Smelser, 1963, p. 8] will probably not be very clear to most students. Perry and Pugh's definition, "relatively unorganized patterns of social interaction in human groups" [1978, p. 3], has " simplicity but is too broad. It covers so many inds of behavior that it really does.not define. Milgram and Toch define collective behavior as "behavior which originates spontaneously, is relatively unorganized, fairly unpredictable and plan less in its course of development, and, which depends upon inter stimulation among participants" [1969, p. 507]. Collective behavior includes crowd behavior, mass behavior, and social movements; and the study of collective behavior includes such topics as
disaster behavior, crowds, mobs, panics, rumors, crazes, mass hysteria, fads, fashions, propaganda, public opinion, social movements, and revolutions. There are a number of theoretical formulations of collective behavior, none of them entirely adequate. Turner and Killian [1972, chap. 2] note that there' are at 'least three different theoretical approaches ..The earliest which describe croud behavior.