Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 287–310

Charisma, crowd psychology and altered states of consciousness

  • Charles Lindholm
Article

Abstract

This paper argues that an interpretive meaning-centered analysis is not adequate for understanding collective behavior that is outside the range of calculating rationality. Alternative approaches to collective irrational action are drawn from the work of Weber and Durkheim, as well as from the crowd psychologists Le Bon and Tarde. These approaches are then illustrated in a short analysis of the trajectories and recruitment techniques of two contemporary American religious annunciations: est and Scientology, and the findings applied to the general social formation.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bainbridge, William 1978 Satan's Power: A Deviant Psychotherapy Cult. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bainbridge, William, and Rodney Stark 1980 Scientology: To Be Perfectly Clear. Sociological Analysis 41:128–136.Google Scholar
  3. Bartholomew, Robert 1990 Ethnocentricity and the Social Construction of ‘Mass Hysteria’. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 14(4):455–494.Google Scholar
  4. Bird, F. 1979 The Pursuit of Innocence: New Religious Movements and Moral Accountability. Sociological Analysis 40:335–46.Google Scholar
  5. Brewer, Mark 1975 Erhard Seminars Training: We're Gonna Tear You Down and Put You Back Together. Psychology Today 9(3).Google Scholar
  6. Canetti, Elias 1978 Crowds and Power. New York: Seabury.Google Scholar
  7. Deikman, Arthur 1969 Deautomatization and the Mystic Experience. In Altered States of Consciousness. Charles Tart, ed. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  8. Durkheim, Emile 1965 The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  9. Durkheim, Emile 1966 Suicide. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  10. Durkheim, Emile 1973 The Dualism of Human Nature and its Social Conditions. In Emile Durkheim on Morality and Society. Robert Bellah, ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  11. Durkheim, Emile 1984 The Division of Labor in Society. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  12. Ellwood, Robert, Jr. 1973 Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modem America. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  13. Fest, Joachim 1974 Hitler. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  14. Foster, John 1971 Enquiry into the Practice and Effects of Scientology. London: House of Commons.Google Scholar
  15. Geertz, Clifford 1983 Centers, Kings and Charisma. In Local Knowledge. Clifford Geertz, ed. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  16. Greenfield, Liah 1985 Reflections on the Two Charismas. British Journal of Sociology 36:117–132.Google Scholar
  17. Heidegger, Martin 1962 Being and Time. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  18. James, William 1982 The Varieties of Religious Experience. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  19. Kaufman, Robert 1972 Inside Scientology. London: Olympia Press.Google Scholar
  20. Kershaw, Ian 1987 The Hitler Myth: Image and Reality in the Third Reich. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  21. Lamont, Stewart 1986 Religion Inc. London: Harrap.Google Scholar
  22. Le Bon, Gustave 1952 The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. London: Ernest Benn.Google Scholar
  23. Levi-Strauss, Claude 1967 The Sorcerer and His Magic. In Structural Anthropology. Claude Levi-Strauss, ed. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  24. Lindholm, Charles 1990 Charisma. Oxford: Basic Blackwell.Google Scholar
  25. Marsh, Richard 1975 I'm the Cause of My World. Psychology Today 9(3): 38.Google Scholar
  26. Martin, Walter 1980 The New Cults. Santa Anna, CA: Vision House.Google Scholar
  27. Massey, E. Wayne, and Lawrence McHenry 1986 Hysteroepilepsy in the Nineteenth Century: Charcot and Gowers. Neurology 36:65–67.Google Scholar
  28. Meeker, Michael 1990 Natural Objects and Substitutive Acts: the Symbolic Process in the Anthropologies of Durkheim and Freud. In Personality and the Social Construction of Society. David Jordan and Marc Swartz, eds. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.Google Scholar
  29. Moscovici, Serge 1985 The Age of the Crowd: A Historical Treatise on Mass Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Sacks, Oliver 1985 The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  31. Shils, Edward 1965 Charisma, Order, Status. American Sociological Review 30:199–213.Google Scholar
  32. Singh, Nikhil 1987 Ensemble or Escape: Self-Awareness Groups in Present-Day American Life. Cambridge, MA: Undergraduate honors thesis, Department of Social Studies, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  33. Tarde, Gabriel 1903 The Laws of Imitation. New York: Henry Holt & Co.Google Scholar
  34. Thornton, E.M. 1976 Hypnotism, Hysteria and Epilepsy: An Historical Synthesis. London: Wm. Heinemann Medical Books Ltd.Google Scholar
  35. Tipton, Steven 1982 Getting Saved From the Sixties. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  36. Waite, Robert 1977 The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  37. Wallis, Roy 1977 The Road to Total Freedom. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Wallis, Roy 1984 The Elementary Forms of the New Religious Life. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  39. Weber, Max 1949 The Methodology of the Social Sciences. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  40. Weber, Max 1958 The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Scribners.Google Scholar
  41. Weber, Max 1972 From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills, eds. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Weber, Max 1978 Economy and Society. I. Roth and C. Wittich, eds. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  43. Whitehead, Harriet 1987 Renunciation and Reformulation: A Study of Conversion in an American Sect. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Winkelman, Michael 1986 Trance States: A Theoretical Model and Cross-Cultural Analysis. Ethos 14:174–203.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles Lindholm

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations