By Robert E. Bartholomew, Peter Hassall
This eclectic background of surprising crowd habit describes a wealthy collection of mass phenomena starting from the fun and quirky to the surprising and deplorable. What do fads, crazes, manias, city legends, ethical panics, riots, stampedes, and different mass expressions of emotion have in universal? via making a typology of such habit, previous and current, the authors express how universal remarkable staff reactions to worry or pleasure are. they usually supply insights into how those occasionally risky mob responses should be refrained from.
We will not be shocked to examine the peculiarities of the eu center a long time, whilst superstition was once average: just like the meowing nuns of France, "tarantism" (a dancing mania) in Italy, or the malicious anti-Semitic poison-well scares. yet related phenomena appear in our personal period. Examples contain the social-networking hysteria of 2012, which ended in uncontrollable twitching by means of teenage ladies in Leroy, big apple; the "phantom bus terrorist" of 2004 in Vancouver, Canada; and the itching outbreak of 2000 in South Africa.
Vivid, exact, and carefully researched, it is a attention-grabbing evaluation of collective human habit in its many strange forms.
From the exchange Paperback edition.
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Additional resources for A Colorful History of Popular Delusions
For example, the once-strong deterministic vein within Marxist political sociology continues to recede as cultural critiques of determinism by Thompson (1966) and Garth Stedman-Jones (1983) are reinforced by a new post-Soviet wave of cultural critiques (GibsonGraham, 2002; Harvey, 2000; and the journal Rethinking Marxism). Although a case for a deterministic Weber was recently constructed in an attempt to locate the progressive triumph of rationalism as the central theme in Weber’s ouevre (Hennis, 1987; Schluchter, 1981), others have accentuated an antideterministic Weber that appears truer to his era and his main thrust.
The more economic variety of rational choice emphasizes preferences and, in game-playing situations, strategies that mainly concern material outcomes, whereas the political science versions tend to direct more attention to institutions and consider more diverse goals (such as status or secure incumbency in office). For political sociology, even more weight needs to be given to acknowledging that a person’s goals are diverse and complex if the rational choice approach is to seem credible. Although people may want to negotiate the best deal, it may not be entirely clear what their best deal is.
Still, although considera- 15 tion of Weber and Bendix undercuts claims for the novelty of the new cultural turn, consideration of Tilly (2003) and Swedberg (2003) catches us up in the new turn and reveals the tension between much of culturally oriented political sociology and the prevailing empiricist bent of contemporary political sociology. One challenge issuing from participants in the cultural turn involves a generalization of the political. For example, Agger and Luke (2003:189) in citing Baudrillard, claim that: The political in this context is found not in parliaments, but rather in professional-technical conflicts or the competition of capital: the non-political becomes political as power rushes into sub-political realms of action.