Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Le Bon Theory

Question: Critically compare theories to explain crowd behaviour or collective action. Le Bon's Theory Deindividualisation Emergent Norm Theory Social Identity Theory. Answer: Le Bon theory Le Bon theory on crowd was developed in 1890s in France and was published in 1895. According to him "by the mere fact that he forms part of an organised crowd, a man descends several rungs in the ladder of civilization. Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd he is a barbarian - that is, a creature acting by instinct." He believed that contagion process influence the crowd, its a kind of process in which the members of the crowd spread violent and irrational feelings. He states that crowds are irrational and primitive, crowd develops a sense of animosity and loses their responsibility because they submerge themselves in the mass present (Thomas, Mavor, McGarty, 2011). Deindividualisation Everyone has a sense of identity and a way to relate to other people, people loose themselves in a part of group, become engrossed in activities which are interesting or other contemplative activities. As a part of Deindividualisation the person loses the individual identity and gain the social identity of the group. Factors related to deindividualism are diffused responsibility, Animosity and group size. In a group there is shared responsibility and less questions on being personally wrong. Deindivialisation stops the internal chatter. That is the reason Rock music is played loudly with lighting effects. Deindividualisation can be used to get someone to do something by providing external distractions. Self-awareness and use of names reduces the effect of Deindividualisation (Hinduja, S2008). Emergent Norm Theory To explain the collective behavior emergent norm theory is used. It is developed by Turner and Killan in 1957 and they believed that norms are developed by social interaction and are initially not visible. People look at each other for cues and signs. In less stable crowd norms are likely to be changing and vague; they have different motives and mixed interest. Suppose one has started breaking the glass of stores window the other will join and begin loot merchandising (Van, Postmes, Spears, 2008). "Whenever there is a vague situation where people are unable to understand what is happening they may not follow normal social Behaviour. There may be different categories of participants and they will follow different behavior pattern because of different motivation. Emergent theory supposition is that collective action is rational and is response of participating event and the norms and action occurs without planning and group process. Social Identity Theory Henri Tajfel developed the social identity theory. It describes that in groups membership what is the social identity of a person. There are different groups like family, social group, football group etc. which are related to their self-esteem and pride. For the purpose to increase the self-image people enhances their status in group. We have divided the world into them (OUT GROUP) and us (IN GROUP) through social categorization. So to enhance owns self-image there is a discrimination between the groups. This theory explains the prejudice attitudes within in- groups and out-groups and in the same way we categorize the people. There is a different perception for the other group and we are same as in our group and more similar than the other group (Turner, Reynolds, 2010). References Thomas, E.F.; Mavor, K.I.; McGarty, C. (2011). "Social identities facilitate and encapsulate action-relevant constructs: A test of the social identity model of collective action".Group Processes and Intergroup Relations15(1): 7588 van Zomeren, M.; Postmes, T.; Spears, R. (2008). "Toward an integrative social identity model of collective action: A quantitative research synthesis of three socio-psychological perspectives".Psychological Bulletin134(4): 504535. Hinduja, S. (2008). Deindividuation and Internet Software Piracy. Cyberpsychology Behavior, 11(4), 391-398. Turner, J. C. Reynolds, K. J. (2010). The story of social identity. In T. Postmes N. Branscombe (Eds). Rediscovering Social Identity: Core Sources. Psychology Press.

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