Sociology Index

Behavior

Behavioral Science is the analysis of human behavior and major social institutions and phenomena, including social inequality, the family, politics, economics, and health from a sociological perspective.

 

 

Collective Behavior

Throughout history, in all societies and civilizations, people have absorbed themselves in episodes of dramatic behavior, such as the crowd, the riot, and the revolution. The nature of these episodes has long attracted a curiosity that has evolved into a loosely defined field of sociology and a concept known as collective behavior. Sociologists define collective behavior as "the actions, often disorganized, taken by a large number of people gathered together usually in defiance of society's norms."

The three generalized types of collective behavior are:

  • localized, which include crowds/mobs/riots

  • dispersed, or mass behavior, which include rumor/gossip/fads/public opinion/propaganda.

  • social movements

Collective Behavior

Collective behavior is defined as activity involving a relatively large number of people that is often spontaneous. It is typically short-term behavior. Social movements and activism are organized and relatively sustained activities that have a clear goal in terms of achieving or preventing some social change.

Deviant Behavior

Are the same behaviors or people considered deviant in all historical errors, in all social contexts? Why do some people engage in deviant behavior? How does society respond to deviant behavior?