Guide The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

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  1. 5 Lessons from Gustave Le Bon’s The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind - Gresham's Law
  2. Catalog Record: The crowd : a study of the popular mind | Hathi Trust Digital Library

5 Lessons from Gustave Le Bon’s The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind - Gresham's Law

While Le Bon has here undoubtedly a firm basis of fact, his general theory leads him to give it very inadequate expression. It is on this account, I think, that the proposition estranges so many readers at the start. If the same phenomena were stated in terms of a unity of activity these activities understood as intelligent the proposition would be much fuller and truer and would carry much more force than when stated as a mere soul-unity in the sense, to me very abstract, which Le Bon gives to the term " soul.

Another result of Le Bon's general theory is seen in his continual use of the "unconscious" as a factor in society.

The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind by Gustave Le Bon (Reading)

Here again there are at the basis of Le Bon's remarks facts which much need to be recognized ; but with a more adequate statement of them that mystic, awe-inspiring unconscious would quickly disappear. Although the question brought up in the points just referred to is probably the most fundamental one which the book raises, involving, as it does, the whole subject of social interpretation and of the adequate statement of social phenomena, it is not the most important matter in the author's own intention, and should not be further insisted on in a brief note.

Le Bon holds that this is an age of crowds, and that their activities are increasing in range and in power day by day. The organized crowd is a group of men acting together under stimuli which are in most cases novel and transitory.

The activities of crowds are usually described as unconscious, and the best of them exhibit only very slight rational elements. Pictures, symbols, sparkling superficiality can best move them.

Catalog Record: The crowd : a study of the popular mind | Hathi Trust Digital Library

Yet race characteristics of the men who compose them act largely as determining elements. Their deeds are marked by an. In Book II, "The Opinions and Beliefs of Crowds," the emphasis is on the content of their souls—that is, the scope and concrete conditions of their activities. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.

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Among the topics covered here are general characteristics and mental unity of the crowd; the crowd's sentiments and morality; its ideas, reasoning power, and imagination; opinions and beliefs of crowds and the means used by leaders to persuade; classification of crowds, including criminal and electrical assemblages, as well as the functioning of criminal juries and parliamentary assemblies. A must-read volume for students of history, sociology, law, and psychology, The Crowd will also be invaluable to politicians, statesmen, investors, and marketing managers.

The rise of mass media has changed the way societies think, and that they can think as a whole.


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From criminal juries to parliamentary assemblies, religious sects to economic classes, Le Bon explores the nature of the many and varied collective consciousnesses that impact the very functioning of modern civilization. Le Bon's The Psychology of Revolution.


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A collective mind is formed, doubtless transitory, but presenting very clearly defined characteristics. The gathering has thus become what, in the absence of a better expression, I will call an organised crowd, or, if the term is considered preferable, a psychological crowd.