By Robert E. Bartholomew, Peter Hassall
This eclectic historical past of surprising crowd habit describes a wealthy collection of mass phenomena starting from the a laugh and quirky to the stunning and deplorable. What do fads, crazes, manias, city legends, ethical panics, riots, stampedes, and different mass expressions of emotion have in universal? by means of making a typology of such habit, prior and current, the authors convey how universal notable workforce reactions to worry or pleasure are. and so they provide insights into how those occasionally risky mob responses could be refrained from.
We will not be stunned to examine the peculiarities of the eu center a long time, whilst superstition was once general: just like the meowing nuns of France, "tarantism" (a dancing mania) in Italy, or the malicious anti-Semitic poison-well scares. yet comparable phenomena appear in our personal period. Examples comprise the social-networking hysteria of 2012, which led to uncontrollable twitching by way of teenage ladies in Leroy, new york; the "phantom bus terrorist" of 2004 in Vancouver, Canada; and the itching outbreak of 2000 in South Africa.
Vivid, particular, 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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Extra resources for A Colorful History of Popular Delusions
Everything emanates from him, and it is toward him that everything converges. A nation is only a nominal entity; it is a word which serves to designate a mechanical aggregate of juxtaposed individuals. But it has no specific properties that distinguish it from other things. Its properties are those of the elements that compose it, merely enlarged and amplified. The individual is, therefore, the only tangible reality that the observer can get at, and the only question which science can set for itself is to investigate how the individual should conduct himself in the principal circumstances of economic life, given his nature.
Durkheim’s argument is that they are external to each single individual. Nevertheless, from these characteristics of social facts, Durkheim derives the methodological rule that social facts must be explained in terms of other social facts, not in terms of facts about human nature ( 1982: 134). Using the scheme I borrowed from Arthur Danto (see Introduction, p. 3 Emile Durkheim’s rules of sociological method Vertical arrows represent Durkheim’s methodological rule that social facts are external constraints on individual behaviour, while horizontal arrows represent the rule that social facts must be explained in terms of other social facts.
The fact that social institutions, like law, language, government, etc, are human creations, does not mean that they are constructions, made by design. Vico was a critic of the theory of the social contract. Like Mandeville, though independent of him, he argued that social institutions and nations are the unintended consequences of intentional human activity. Following Aristotle, he maintained that they grow, like organisms; that they are natural growths. All these ideas were shared by Herder, especially the idea of ‘expressionism’, to borrow a useful term from Isaiah Berlin.