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Over the past century, the twin fields of mass psychology and collective behavior sociology have shared a rather marginal and episodic existence. These two fields used to focus on crowd events and social movements, but seem to have lost ground. This book gives them new relevance and topicality by re-connecting them with some of the very latest findings from biology (social genes), neurology (mirror neurons), and social science (reproducing memes). Through ten ever-widening, concentric circles, the book takes the reader on a fascinating journey, from gregarious individuals to small groups, performance audiences and social movements, organizational culture and social networks, mass media and product markets, public opinion and contemporary internet research. The book demonstrates that, in the age of the internet, both managers and policy makers are increasingly surprised by the mental earthquakes and tsunamis that ripple suddenly around the globe within mere minutes.
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Jaap van Ginneken is a veteran expert on these specific fields, as a former associate professor at the Communication Science department at Amsterdam University in The Netherlands. With earlier noteworthy studies like Crowds, psychology and politics (1992), Understanding global news (1998), Collective behaviour and public opinion (2003), Mass movements (2007), Screening difference (2007), Stranger danger and the epidemic of fear (2012).
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