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SOCS 185 Culture Essay Week 8 COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR AND URBAN GROWTH

Introduction

Collective behavior refers to spontaneous and unstructured activities in which large groups of people deviate from dominant group values and norms. It typically arises as a response to public issues and is often used as a protest. Collective behavior emerges when a problem or factor captures people’s attention, creating awareness and prompting a specific response.

In crowds, a form of collective behavior, many individuals come together nearby, sharing a common issue or problem. This physical closeness enhances the emotional contagion within the crowd, amplifying emotions such as fear and hate. In such situations, individuals may experience a diminished sense of personal responsibility, leading them to engage in actions as a collective that they would not consider when acting alone (Kendall, 2016, pg.727).

SOCS 185 Culture Essay Week 8 COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR AND URBAN GROWTH

Mass behavior, another category of collective behavior, involves being physically close to one another but with problems. Mass behavior can occur across a broad geographic area. Mass behavior includes the spread of rumors and gossip, fashion trends, fads, mass hysteria or panic, and the formation of public opinion.

An example of a public issue frequently garners attention is the requirement of immunizations for children before school registration. This topic can trigger mass behavior, as individuals across different locations and communities react similarly to the issue. Mass behavior encompasses various manifestations, and social, cultural, and psychological factors influence its dynamics. Collective behavior contains crowds and masses, representing spontaneous and unstructured responses to public issues. It is characterized by the temporary suspension of traditional social norms and the emergence of shared behaviors and emotions among large groups. Understanding collective behavior is essential for comprehending societal dynamics and how individuals collectively address and navigate pressing issues.

SOCS 185 Culture Essay Week 8 COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR AND URBAN GROWTH

Urban growth can be examined through various sociological perspectives, providing insights into the interconnections between different elements within a city. One such perspective is the functionalist approach, which focuses on understanding how the various parts of a city function together as a whole. Functionalist theorists often analyze the relationship between people and their physical environment to determine land use patterns. Within the functionalist framework, the concentric zone theory is commonly utilized. This theory identifies two ecological processes: invasion and succession. Aggression occurs when a new group enters an area that a different group previously occupied. The line refers to the gradual replacement of one group by another over time. These processes contribute to the evolution and growth of urban areas.

On the other hand, social conflict theorists argue that urban growth and decline are not random occurrences. They propose that changes in cities result from decisions made by influential individuals, such as top political officials and members of the capitalist class. According to this perspective, urban development is influenced by political decisions, economic interests, and power dynamics within society.

SOCS 185 Culture Essay Week 8 COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR AND URBAN GROWTH

Symbolic interactionists focus on understanding urban life from individuals’ perspectives and the city’s social interactions. They recognize that urban residents are affected by the prevalence of economic relations in everyday activities. The intensity of urban living often leads people to become somewhat desensitized to their surroundings. Many urban dwellers avoid emotional involvement with others and attempt to ignore events around them. Economic interactions dominate social connections, creating a sense of wariness and detachment among urban residents (Symbolic, 2014, para 1).

These different sociological perspectives offer varying insights into urban growth and its implications. With the continuous influx of immigrants and the development of natural-born citizens’ families, urban areas will continue to experience population increases and demographic shifts. Understanding the multifaceted nature of urban growth is crucial for comprehending the social, economic, and political dynamics shaping our cities.

References

Kendall, D.E. (2016). Sociology in our times: The Essentials. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Sociology Homework & Assignment Help. (2014, September 08). Retrieved June 26, 2019, from

https://www.sociologyassignments.com/symbolic-interactionist-perspectives-the- experience-of-city-life-5159

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