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Collective behavior refers to a state in which many people follow a certain trends in response to an event or an occurrence in the society. Collective behaviors have been studied and, research has proven that they defile social norms. People who participate in collective behaviors have a usual trend of being interruptive, and in some cases destructive. In this regard, collective behaviors are found in groups that are not well organized. Consequently, collective behavior affects the characters of individuals immensely. In view of the above, this paper elaborates the effects of collective behavior on an individual (Smelser 8).
Collective behavior affects individuals who are involved in a certain group or crowd. More often, individuals in a certain set up of people tend to have similar behavior. Such behaviors are confirmative. People involved in the crowd adapt to the behavior likening them to others in it. However, any picked character trend does not stay. Once the person has left the crowd, his or her behavior comes back to normal. In the context of immigrants, they may find themselves in a set up that does not favor their living. Such a crowd may have to adapt a certain normative behavior that is emergent in order to enhance survival in the new environment (Smelser 342-5).
The impact of collective behavior is known to affect the behaviors of individuals and especially among immigrants. In discussing collective behaviors, immigrants are said to have temporary behaviors.
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How Original Collective Values Alter in Confronting a New Culture
Collective values are the trends embraced by a certain crowd or group of people. The values are considered fundamental to the group’s welfare and distinctiveness. Values put forward by these people are often mandatory to the group. Any non-conformist to the specified values is considered an outcast or of a different group. Therefore, it becomes mandatory that people belonging to a group follow suite to the values it holds. Likewise, for a new person joining the group or society, he or she has to uphold the values common to the members (Wirth 1).
In the case of a foreigner in a new set up, an individual must learn the way of living of the people he or she intends to interact with on a daily basis. In the context of people migrating from one their place of origin to another, they have to forfeit their original trends and adapt to the new lifestyle in the new environment. For instance, a person joining a new group has to abide by the collective behaviors of the new community. This may include daily practices that define different people in the given set up. For instance, familial role based on gender may differ from one society to another. Hence, the new individuals have to change to identify with the new environment. In case of changing to the new collective values becomes difficult, and then the individual becomes isolated and referred to as a foreigner.
Outsiders especially in the context of migration or expatriation have influenced some cultural trends. Other people fail to abide to the trends of the people they join after moving from their original places. In such a setting, new social groups formed separate themselves from the indigenous groups thus bringing modernity in today’s world (Brown & Hiebert 165). History clearly exhibits the effect of expatriation and collective values to a person while joining a new culture. Centuries ago, people would move from one area to another seeking employment and business prospects. For instance, the people who went to America coming from Africa adapted to the new culture of the Americans. The formation of new trends in America came due to the combination of the cultures and beliefs of the expatriates and the indigenous people (Brown & Hiebert 115).
What is the Impact on Individuality?
Individuality refers to the aspect of being in a position to make sound decisions that concern a person’s life. This aspect does not make a person separate from the community or society that he or she is living. On the contrary, values of a given society or community contribute significantly in the decisions that individuals in it make. That is, when a person belongs to a certain group of people; he or she adapts certain habits and trends that make him or her akin the rest of the group. For instance, an individual belonging to African American culture he or she is likely to speak in a certain accent and have unique a unique way of dressing that differs from other community surrounding him or her. In this context, collective behaviors and values have a considerable impact on the decisions that one makes on his or her personal life (Wirth 1).
Both collective values and collective behaviors have significant impacts on individuality in the context of life trends and beliefs. A person can only identify with a certain culture if he or she exhibits characters similar to its people. For a person to identify with a certain people, he or she has to adapt certain beliefs that go in line with the lifestyle of that group. In this regard, the individual’s decisions are solely dependent on the beliefs of that group. For instance, a person does not belong to a certain religion unless he or she agrees and practices the beliefs of that religion (Smelser 341). Accordingly, collective values and behaviors affect individuality.
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