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Crowd behaviour

Related: mob - mass - group

The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1895) - Gustave Le Bon [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Crowds and Power (1960) - Elias Canetti [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Frankenstein (1931) - James Whale [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Crowd behaviour

Crowd psychology
Crowd psychology characterises the group dynamics of a large group (or "crowd").

Negatively construed as a "mob", positively seen as the expression of popular democracy, crowds have a reputation for fickle, often irrational and potentially violent behaviour. Skilled organisation and appropriate rituals may artificially promote intense solidarity and enthusiasm.

French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon is responsible for the early work on Crowd behaviour. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowd_psychology [May 2005]

Crowds and Power (1960) - Elias Canetti

Elias Canetti's 1981 Nobel Prize was awarded mainly on the basis of this, his masterwork of philosophical anthropology about la condition humaine on an overpopulated planet.

Ranging from soccer crowds and political rallies to Bushmen and the pilgrimage to Mecca, Canetti exhaustively reviews the way crowds form, develop, and dissolve, using this taxonomy of mass movement as a key to the dynamics of social life. The style is abstract, erudite, and anecdotal, which makes Crowds and Power the sort of work that awes some readers with its profundity while irritating others with its elusiveness. Canetti loves to say something brilliant but counterintuitive, and then leave the reader to figure out both why he said it and whether it's really true. --Richard Farr

"Canetti dissolves politics into pathology, treating society as a mental activity--a barbaric one, of course--that must be decoded."--Susan Sontag

Elias Canetti --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elias Canetti [May 2006]

See also: power - group - 1960 - mass

The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1895) - Gustave Le Bon

Book Description
One of the greatest and most influential books of social psychology ever written, brilliantly instructive on the general characteristics and mental unity of a crowd, its sentiments and morality, ideas, reasoning power, imagination, opinions and much more. A must-read volume not only for students of history, sociology, law and psychology, but for every politician, statesman, investor, and marketing manager.

Gustave Le Bon (May 7, 1841 – December 13, 1931) was a French social psychologist, sociologist, and amateur physicist. He was the author of several works in which he expounded theories of national traits, racial superiority, herd behaviour and crowd psychology. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_Le_Bon [May 2006]

See also: group - sociology - psychology - 1895

The Man of the Crowd (1840) - E. A. Poe

Ce grand malheur, de ne pouvoir être seul. --La Bruyère.

IT was well said of a certain German book that "er lasst sich nicht lesen" - it does not permit itself to be read. There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. Men die nightly in their beds, wringing the hands of ghostly confessors and looking them piteously in the eyes -- die with despair of heart and convulsion of throat, on account of the hideousness of mysteries which will not suffer themselves to be revealed. Now and then, alas, the conscience of man takes up a burthen so heavy in horror that it can be thrown down only into the grave. And thus the essence of all crime is undivulged. --http://poe.thefreelibrary.com/Man-of-the-Crowd [Oct 2006] The Man of the Crowd, telling of one who roams day and night to mingle with streams of people as if afraid to be alone, has quieter effects, but implies nothing less of cosmic fear. --H. P. Lovecraft in Supernatural Horror in Literature (1924-1927)

See also: 1840 - E. A. Poe - flâneur - crowd

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