Stott, CJT (2016) Contemporary understanding of riots: classical crowd psychology, ideology and the social identity approach. Public Understanding of Science, 26 (1). pp. 2-14.

C Stott - Contemporary understanding of riots - classical crowd psychology, ideology and the social identity approach.pdf - Accepted Version
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This article explores the origins and ideology of classical crowd psychology, a body of theory reflected in contemporary popularised understandings such as of the 2011 English ‘riots’. This article argues that during the nineteenth century, the crowd came to symbolise a fear of ‘mass society’ and that ‘classical’ crowd psychology was a product of these fears. Classical crowd psychology pathologised, reified and decontextualised the crowd, offering the ruling elites a perceived opportunity to control it. We contend that classical theory misrepresents crowd psychology and survives in contemporary understanding because it is ideological. We conclude by discussing how classical theory has been supplanted in academic contexts by an identity-based crowd psychology that restores the meaning to crowd action, replaces it in its social context and in so doing transforms theoretical understanding of ‘riots’ and the nature of the self.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Sage at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: crowds, discourses of science, history of science, Le Bon, psychology, public understanding of science, riots, science and popular culture, social identity
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2016 15:57
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2018 09:05

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