Making Sense Of Collective Preoccupations: Lessons From Research On The Iben Browning Earthquake Prediction

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Disaster Research Center
Monsters abroad in the community. Visitations by flying saucers. Public hatred targeted at newly discovered villains in society. A disease of mysterious origin that strikes its victims down without warning. Doomsday warnings and reports of a coming millennium. A rush to jump on an investment bandwagon and obtain undreamed-of wealth. Sightings of the Blessed Virgin and Christ. Scattered throughout the collective behavior literature are articles describing widespread involvement in these kinds of emergent beliefs and behaviors. Common to most such episodes,which I call "collective preoccupations", is the collective discovery of some previously unknown or nonsalient object of attention that begins to assume new significance in light of emerging definitions, that constitutes a focus for interaction within a collectivity, and that causes at least some participants to reorganize their daily activities.
collective preoccupations, Iben Browning Earthquake