ABSTRACT

Definition of Craze. As in the case of panic, the terms used by various writers to define the craze suffer from a lack of consistent meaning. LaPiere, for instance, characterizes crazelike behavior as "fanatical behavior," of which he identifies three types: the boom, or "any fanatical behavior which is based upon the idea that there has been discovered a new and infallible way to material wealth"; the mass movement, or "a 'spontaneous' uprooting of a considerable proportion of the social population in a nl0veIuent to a new promised land"; and the messianic movenlent, or "a collective flight from reality by following a new form of leadership which will bring health, wealth, or happiness."1 For LaPiere the identifying characteristic of the craze is the type of goal, though quality of leadership also is important in setting the messianic movelnent off froin the other two forms. Various writers have attempted to distinguish among fad, fashion, boom, and craze in terms of their differing degrees of superficiality, duration, intensity, and social acceptability.2 Turner and Killian differentiate between the fad and the craze, which

occur in "diffuse crowds," and other forms of collective behavior which occur in "compact crowds."! E. A. Ross, a pioneer theorist on collective behavior, has included under the heading of "craze" early Christianity, the crusades, prophecies of world destruction, the prohibition movement, and financial stampedes.2 Bogardus discusses panic under the headings of "manias" and "crazes."3 To add to this confusion, the literature yields no consistent difference between the terms "boom" and "bubble," though the latter suggests the giddier aspects of speculative movements.4