A Mobthink Hypothesis:

Monday, December 27, 2010 1:16 PM By Stephen J Christophers

I have some interesting research on,"Mob Theory" and it's modern day context, with specific relationships to aspects of Mob psychology, such as, Groupthink: Mobbing; Mob rules; Mobsters; an angry Mob; lynch Mob; a Mob hunt (Witch hunt, derivative term); or, I was Mobbed; has it's roots in Latin (mobile vulgus "fickle commoners"). The term "Mob" is still in use today, under similar context in spoken and written English. I would like to explore some aspects of it's usage, with you here, and try to put my finger on why one would adopt a negative slanderous term to describe ones self.

Under it's negative context Sigmund Freud's looked at Crowd Behaviour Theory, quote:"It is probably the suspicion of this fictitiousness of their own 'group psychology' which makes fascist crowds so merciless and unapproachable. If they would stop to reason for a second, the whole performance would go to pieces, and they would be left to panic." Is this to be true of our Mob down-under?

Used as a Colonial term for groups of Australian Aboriginals: the word Mob, is an adopted vernacular post colonisation of Australasia, by the British in 1788. The modern day usage of the term Mob by Australians is presumbed to have shifted context, from that of a derogatory nature - and ethnic slur - to a generally accepted everyday discriptive terminology: Mob (noun) Meaning: A disorderly crowd of people, synonyms with rabble.

This adaptation of a negative terms, or words used by a dominant majority to describe an ethnic minority also appears when examining Black American culture and the use of the word Nigger by Caucasians, as a term to describe black people; Nigger or Nigga, by Afro-Americans. Where neither Mob or Nigger are used under duress, as one might expect a negative term be - I find this point very interesting.

The term Mob, used by indigenous Australians, with modern reference to, a collective of Aboriginal Australians; or, those that appear in groups; a mob of Aboriginals; the Mob, These groups however, are not necessarily related in terms of genetics: the family, or clan, and might contain individuals from other mobs, whether through geographical relocation, friendship or marriage.

A hypothesis, an explanation of this type of behaviour could be found in an example of, "Mate-ship" in Australia, where it's commonly found along side the use of the term, Mob. "Group cohesiveness" is maintained when labelling occurs, labels or "Nick Names" are awarded to individuals in groups; where a close friend or 'Mob" member, would use a specific term coined by the group, to maintain a sense of Group cohesion; bringing reference to, the Gangster or Mobster. And, where outsiders would otherwise refer to a member using their common names, the cohesion is broken. This labelling of an individual degrades Individual creativity, uniqueness and independents in favour of Groupthink.

Groupthink(coined Mobthink for my essay), "a type of thought within a deeply cohesive in-group whose members try to minimise conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. It is a second potential negative consequence of group cohesion." - Wikipedia.

The negative aspects of "Mobthink" can be manifest where an individual might author power over members to his advantage, or that of the group over the individual. And/or, seeking to minimize conflict within the group at the expense of outside forces; nepotistic behavioural patterns, for example: The Spanish Inquisition, A witch hunt (Mob hunt). Negative labelling also brings hierarchy into a group behaviour, where dependency on the group or groups is seen; in such a case, it would be safe to state: negative labels would subjugate rank and file. Otherwise, demoralizing ones self or ones group to appease cultural cohesiveness.

Music for inspiration::Beats International Dub Be Good To Me 2008::