Massen: På sporet af en glemt sociologisk figur

  • Christian Borch


The Crowd: In Search of a Lost Sociological Idea This article attempts to revitalize the idea of the crowd. The crowd was an important sociological idea in early sociology, but became marginal in post-war sociological thought. The article examines the idea of the crowd from two perspectives and argues that it is relevant for current social theory. First, it discusses the field of economic sociology. Specifically, I demonstrate how crowd psychology has informed speculation theory historically and how the crucial notion in crowd semantics, suggestion, may improve our understanding of economic behaviour in general. Second, the article discusses the crowd as a collection of bodies. I suggest, for example, that the sexual energies of crowds may create an important social bond. So rather than representing a threat to society (as classical crowd semantics would have it), the crowd may make a positive contribution to the social order.