This article throws light upon the four main types of crowd. The types are: 1. The Like-Interest or Casual Crowd 2. The Common-Interest or Action Crowd 3. Expressive Crowd 4. Conventionalized Crowd.
Type # 1. The Like-Interest or Casual Crowd:
In a like-interest or casual crowd, “there is a common external focus of interest but not a common interest”. Thus when a crowd gathers to watch a street accident or a fire, the individuals who compose the crowd seek merely to satisfy their curiosity. Sometimes such a crowd may gather out of sheer panic. These crowds have no other object to fulfill. Sometimes such a crowd is also characterised as a spectator crowd.
Type # 2. The Common-Interest or Action Crowd:
A common-interest or action crowd is brought together by some common purpose. The crowd that participates in a popular celebration, in a spontaneous outburst of group joy or hatred, or in a strike demonstration, falls under this category.
The common purpose which brings such a crowd together may either be expressly defined, as in the case of a revolutionary crowd which has a specific goal to achieve; or, the purpose may not be very sharply defined, as in the case of a crowd that gathers to celebrate, say the Republic Day.
In most cases the fulfillment of individual self-interest is the basis of this kind of crowd behaviour. Thus, when the depositors of a particular Bank get scared, for some reason or the other, that the Bank would, in all probability, fail to honour its commitments to its depositors in near future, the latter would rush to the Bank to withdraw their deposits. They exhibit in their conduct all the characteristics of crowd behaviour.
Though each depositor has his own personal interest to fulfill, they rally together in order to serve which they consider to be their common interest Barriers between individual subscribers are broken, and each stimulates the other. As a consequence, suggestibility of each individual grows.
Type # 3. Expressive Crowd:
Sometimes a group of people exhibit in their conduct all the attributes of crowd behaviour in order to express their feelings of joy or sorrow. Thus, the supporters of, say, a victorious football team express their joy by singing and dancing on the streets and shouting various kinds of slogans.
On some occasions, such expressions of joy the ugly forms. They not only shout, sing and dance, but they also tease the passers- by and even go so far as to loot the pavement shops. The expressions of grief and sorrow over some tragic accident or event also exhibit the characteristics of crowd behaviour.
Type # 4. Conventionalized Crowd:
We know that sometimes people are allowed, on certain specific occasions, to be non-conformist in respect of certain social norms in order to give release to pent-up feelings and emotions.
For instance, while celebrating ‘holi’, holi-revelers exhibit, in their conduct, some of the characteristics of crowd behaviour. Crowds of this type are known as conventionalized crowd.