A colorful history of popular delusions
Book - 2015
"This eclectic history of unusual crowd behavior describes a rich assortment of mass phenomena ranging from the amusing and quirky to the shocking and deplorable. What do fads, crazes, manias, urban legends, moral panics, riots, stampedes, and other mass expressions of emotion have in common? By creating a typology of such behavior, past and present, the authors show how common extraordinary group reactions to fear or excitement are. And they offer insights into how these sometimes dangerous mob responses can be avoided. We may not be surprised to read about the peculiarities of the European Middle Ages, when superstition was commonplace: like the meowing nuns of France, 'tarantism' (a dancing mania) in Italy, or the maliciou...s anti-Semitic poison-well scares. But similar phenomena show up in our own era. Examples include the social-networking hysteria of 2012, which resulted in uncontrollable twitching by teenage girls in Leroy, NY; the 'phantom bus terrorist' of 2004 in Vancouver, Canada; and the itching outbreak of 2000 in South Africa. Vivid, detailed, and thoroughly researched, this is a fascinating overview of collective human behavior in its many unusual forms"--
Amherst, New York :
- Main Author
- Other Authors
- Physical Description
- 363 pages ; 23 cm
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- Chapter 1. Rumor and Gossip: "Psssst"
- Chapter 2. Fads: The Next Big Thing
- Chapter 3. Crazes: Going Overboard
- Chapter 4. Manias: "What Ardently We Wish, We Soon Believe"
- Chapter 5. Urban Legends: Living Folklore
- Chapter 6. Stampedes and Panics
- Chapter 7. Anxiety Hysteria: The Power of Sudden Fear
- Chapter 8. Classical Mass Hysteria: Psychological Gremlins
- Chapter 9. Immediate Community Threats: Defending the Homeland
- Chapter 10. Moral Panics: Imagining Out Worst Fears
- Chapter 11. Riots: The Breakdown of Social Order
- Chapter 12. Small-Group Panics: People Who Scared Themselves
- Chapter 13. Postscript: Lessons to Heed