The term collective behavior was first used by Franklin Henry Giddings in the year 1908, and it was used to denote any spontaneous or unplanned reaction as well as action recorded from a group of people.
However, collective behaviors of animals are also studied when kept under certain controlled environments to learn more about the species
Short note on collective behavior
“Any behavior that takes place between two or more persons is known as collective behavior but some social scientists say that ‘the behaviour of individual under impulse that is common and collective and that is the result of social interaction ‘and it includes the study of coordinated and organised social movements and the other point ,collective behaviour refers to the spontaneous eruption of an episodic event.collective behavior is not the same thing as group behavior because of few reasons, the first collective behavior is typically time-limited it involves short social interactions, whereas the group tends to remain together longer and socialize for extended periods of time.secondly, while collective behavior is time limited it isn’t socially limited”
Sociologists usually use this term for any behavior involving more than one person. It is done primarily, to explore mankind and put man under the microscope as a “social animal”.
We are taught, since our childhood, about social norms and values, and that we must always adhere to the rules of the society. It is seldom that we do not practice planned social behavior, we mostly do what is expected of us. But there is another facet of our social lives which is not very well-structured or planned.
This is the part of our social life where we behave rashly, spontaneously and without a clear picture in our minds. Sociologists term this dimension of our social lives “collective behavior”. There is almost always a social order around us and not often do we step outside this prescribed sphere. Collective behavior deals with recording the manifestation of this disorder.
Sociologists use this term for any group of people, two or more, which share some similar characteristics. They are quite episodic and irrational, people who engage in these activities would not generally do so under any normal circumstance.
They are fairly short-lived and emotional, such episodes strike a chord among the people and they behave emotionally.
They are very unstable and unstructured in the sense that they arise out of an impromptu situation. And, they are highly non-traditional, they do not adhere to the conventions of our society, therefore short-lived.
There are a few types of collective behavior
namely, crowds, mobs, riots, mass hysteria, panic, craze, fad, fashion. It is the opinion of some psychologists that there are three fundamental emotions of human beings, joy, fear, and anger. Similarly, there are three corresponding types of crowds expressing these emotions, ‘craze’ which expresses joy, ‘panic’ which expresses fear, and ‘hostility’ which expresses anger. The crowd can be a casual crowd, like people in a shopping mall, or an organized crowd, as in the people at any function or social gathering. Every time a crowd turns violent, it is called a mob. They are inherent of a violent disposition, rising out of spontaneous, passionate upheavals. Riots are more planned than mobs, they take time to take shape and finally the outburst sets in.
Mass hysteria and panics and the most unprompted of all collective behaviors. They are a shared feeling of unrest over the same matter or subject. They take no time to set in and are very short-lived. Fads and fashion are another important part of collective behavior. They take a while to be in motion and die down eventually. It is the kind of behavior coming from people who pursue things very passionately, so passionately that they start taking it up as a way of living. Ranging widely from food to clothing, jewelry, hairstyles, and music. They are a very important facet of collective behavior as they demonstrate instantly the concept of it.
For example, in fashion, there can clearly be seen the demarcation from bell-bottoms to stretchable pencil-pants and finally to faded-ripped jeans. People follow these fashions to feel a sense of belonging, and trendy.
Studies of collective behavior are very significant to truly understand mankind and to some extent, ourselves. They arise each time there is a mutual sense of belonging or unrest to a particular situation. They take place each time the social norms and values stand unclear, and the mass has nothing to abide by.
Summary on forms of collective behavior
Forms of Collective Behaviour
Social scientists classified and examined the forms of collective behavior, like crowds, mobs, panics, and crazes, fads and fashions, rumors, public, and public opinion, and social movements, it has grouped into two major types
1.Spatially proximate collective behavior: In this type, human beings are close geographically and face to face contact, crowds, violent mobs, riots, etc, are the best examples
2.Spatially diffuse collective behavior: In this type people are not always physically at one place, at a certain time but may be dispersed over a wide geographical area, it includes masses, publics, fads, and fashions, mass hysteria and panics and social movements are some types of diffuse collective mass behavior .
features of collective behavior or its characteristics
1.Spontaneous and episodic: it takes place occasionally and it’s a spontaneous
2.Unstable: It is not stable, not hastened to live in short time does not have goals values like institutionalized behavior
3.Irrational: this type of behavior is guided by beliefs, fears, and hatred etc, in this situation no one takes decisions logical and rational basis
4.NonTraditional: It is not clearly defined according to any cultural norms and values, in this type of situation formal authority fails.