2014 Reprint of 1896 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. Le Bon believed that modern life was increasingly characterized by crowd assemblages. In "The Crowd," his most popular work, he argued that the conscious personality of the individual in a crowd is submerged and that the collective crowd mind dominates; crowd behavior is unanimous, emotional, and intellectually weak. This new entity that emerges from incorporating the assembled population not only forms a new body but also forms a collective "unconsciousness." As a crowd gathers together and coalesces there is a magnetic influence given out by the crowd or from some other cause of which we are ignorant" that transmutes every individual's behavior until it becomes governed by the "group mind". This model treats 'The Crowd' as a unit in its composition and robs every individual member of their opinions, values and beliefs. As he says in one of his more pithy statements, "An individual in a crowd is a grain of sand amid other grains of sand, which the wind stirs up at will." His classic work remains influential to this day.
The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (French: Psychologie des Foules; literally: Psychology of Crowds) is a book authored by Gustave Le Bon that was first published in 1895.
In the book, Le Bon claims that there are several characteristics of crowd psychology: "impulsiveness, irritability, incapacity to reason, the absence of judgement of the critical spirit, the exaggeration of sentiments, and others..." Le Bon claimed that "an individual immersed for some length of time in a crowd soon finds himself – either in consequence of magnetic influence given out by the crowd or from some other cause of which we are ignorant – in a special state, which much resembles the state of fascination in which the hypnotized individual finds himself in the hands of the hypnotizer."
Table of contents
Criticism and influence
The book has a strong connection with Sigmund Freud's Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego In this book Freud refers heavily to the writings of Gustave Le Bon, summarizing his work at the beginning of the book in the chapter Le Bons Schilderung der Massenseele ("Le Bon's description of the group mind"). Like Le Bon, Freud says that as part of the mass, the individual acquires a sense of infinite power allowing him to act on impulses that he would otherwise have to curb as an isolated individual. These feelings of power and security allow the individual not only to act as part of the mass, but also to feel safety in numbers. This is accompanied, however, by a loss of conscious personality and a tendency of the individual to be infected by any emotion within the mass, and to amplify the emotion, in turn, by "mutual induction". Overall, the mass is "impulsive, changeable, and irritable. It is controlled almost exclusively by the unconscious."
Freud extensively quotes Le Bon, who explains that the state of the individual in the crowd is "hypnotic", with which Freud agrees. He adds that the contagion and the higher suggestibility are different kinds of change of the individual in the mass.
In Crowds and Power Elias Canetti analyzes the memoirs of Daniel Paul Schreber with an implicit critique of Sigmund Freud as well as Gustave Le Bon.
What did Gustave Le Bon argue about the crowd?
In La psychologie des foules (1895; The Crowd), his most popular work, he argued that the conscious personality of the individual in a crowd is submerged and that the collective crowd mind dominates; crowd behaviour is unanimous, emotional, and intellectually weak.
Who is state the concept of crowd mind?
The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind.
Who created the crowd theory?
Contagion theory was developed by French scholar Gustave Le Bon (1841–1931) in his influential 1895 book, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (Le Bon, 1895/1960).
Who is the author of book the crowd?
Gustave Le Bon