Tuesday, March 6, 2012

...the real message lay not in the behavior bit in the collective action.

"...the real message lay not in the behavior but in the collective action." (Faster and Faster, p 167)

This partial sentence really got me to thinking about the power of group action over individual action. I thought to myself first about how this is human instinct. Just remember when you would try as a child to plea your case to your parents about needing a piece of candy saying "but my sisters want one too...I'm not the only one.". Then my mind went to how the newest devices allow us to create a "group" so efficiently these days. The article had many great examples of how groups are used for political or protest reasons. I was trying to think of another way in which we are using collective action to make change...

The only thing that comes to mind is the creation of what id call "reaction groups" on social networks -- like Facebook. we see a lot of groups pop up after disasters (i.e. shootings, tornadoes, etc) pleasing for donations and support, or local tragedies (i.e. children with cancer, families with out-of-work parents, etc.). It seems that the "virtual collection" of these people is what makes the biggest impact (awareness, perhaps?), versus the actual purpose of the group to provide aide. Maybe I'm stretching this a bit, but doesn't it seem that when you run across a "reaction group" on Facebook you give it the proper thought and consideration regardless of whether or not you choose to larticipate in their cause?

I was trying to think of an example that fits well with the passage above regarding the collection of like-minded people as the threat, not the group's action itself. Like I said, this might be a stretch in that regard.

What do you think? And can you think of any other/better examples of collectives that garner action?

1 comment:

  1. As I read your opinion of groups banding together for a common reason. I often think of the term “groupthink” which can be a major problem in government when it comes to making important decisions. For example, during the Bush administration the pressure to invasion Iraq after 9/11 was not well thought out. The United State should have developed a broad-based coalition of allies before invading. The results of not properly considering all the options and going along with the pressure from Americans was costly in terms of military deaths and causalities, diplomatic standing in the world, and economically.