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Collective Behavior

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Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

Related Terms

Collective action; Collective interests; Crowd; Social movements


(1) A complex concept. (2) Theories. (3) Analytical approaches. (4) Social Movements. (5) Dynamics. (6) Future perspectives.

A Complex Concept

Collective Behavior, unlike other concepts in social science, is very wide, complex, and difficult to define. It includes different behaviors, structures, processes, and contexts. Many areas of sociology and psychology, as well as economics and political science, involve the study of Collective Behavior, often restricting the focus to particular types of it such as religious, political, deviant behavior, and others.

The concept of Collective Behavior does not define a group of social phenomena which can be objectively verifiable, but can be intended as a reference to understand different sociological orientations, which sometimes converge, and sometimes contrast.

Originally called “mob behavior” or “mass hysteria,” Collective Behavior was believed to occur...

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Correspondence to Emanuela C. Del Re .

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Del Re, E.C. (2013). Collective Behavior. In: Runehov, A.L.C., Oviedo, L. (eds) Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions. Springer, Dordrecht.

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