"Collective behavior refers to the "the way people congregate and behave in groups—especially in crowds, mobs, and riots but also extending to fads, rumors, panics, mass publics, and the emergence of organized social movements." (source:
During this course on collective behavior, we learned about a famous incident which took place in New York City. This
incident involved the murder of a woman named Kitty Genovese. The following was taken from the website:
" On March 13, 1964, at around 3:30AM, there was a murder in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, New York. The murder probably wouldn’t have gotten much publicity at all if it hadn’t been for a sensational article that appeared on the front page of The New York Times, a couple of weeks later. The Times story led to groundbreaking research in social psychology and the discovery of new and counter-intuitive information about human behavior."
Apathy at Stabbing of Queens Woman Shocks Inspector
For more than half an hour 38 respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens.
Twice the sound of their voices and the sudden glow of their bedroom lights interrupted him and frightened him off. Each time he returned, sought her out and stabbed her again. Not one person telephoned the police during the assault; one witness called after the woman was dead.
That was two weeks ago today. But Assistant Chief Inspector Frederick M. Lussen, in charge of the borough’s detectives and a veteran of 25 years of homicide investigations, is still shocked.
He can give a matter-of-fact recitation of many murders. But the Kew Gardens slaying baffles him–not because it is a murder, but because the “good people” failed to call the police.
"It was from this newspaper article that Americans–and people around the world–formed their lasting impressions of the tragic death of Kitty Genovese. The story shocked the nation; everyone was talking about how terrible it was that in big cities like New York, people just didn’t seem to get to know their neighbors or care about them. Those of us who lived in small cities and towns were sure things would be different in our neighborhoods."
So why am I bring up this famous case? I am doing so to indicate that the media is often wrong about people and groups of people in this world. Today I read a wonderful account of the behavior of some people in New York City towards a Canada goose that I would like to share with you.
November 18, 2009, 3:15 pm
Beaky, the Disabled Prospect Park GooseBy JENNIFER 8. LEE AND JEREMY ZILAR
A disabled Canada goose in Prospect Park is missing the upper half of its beak, prompting concern among Brooklyn residents that it might starve to death, as some birds with similar disabilities have done.
Anne-Katrin Titze, who teaches at Hunter College, has been among those who have been hand-feeding the goose, which they have named Beaky.
It is not clear how the bird lost its beak, which makes it appear as though its tongue perpetually sticks out. While a bald eagle named Beauty lost the top part of its beak in May 2008 when it was shot by a poacher in Idaho, there are no reports of bird injuries from gunfire in Prospect Park.
“It could have gotten its beak wedged in something,” said John Rowden, a manager of citizen science for the New York City Audubon. “I don’t think one bird would get enough leverage to rip another bird’s upper beak off.”
Eugene Patron, a spokesman for Prospect Park, added that animals sometimes become tangled in fishing lines. “That probably wasn’t what happened here,” he said.
Beaky has been in the park for at least seven months. Mr. Patron said the staff had observed Beaky and that it did not appear to have a problem eating. “It hasn’t seemed to be in need,” he said. “The staff have paid attention to it.”
Mr. Rowden of the Audubon Society said: “Birds are really adaptable. They can learn to live with deficits. It’s possible that this guy can learn to scoop up food just with the lower beak.”
Mr. Rowden used to work at the Bronx Zoo, where some birds had prosthetic beaks installed. It is an expensive, laborious process — a major medical procedure. “It would require general anesthesia to do that,” he said. The beaks are often made of composites made of fiberglass or other materials. Attaching the beak involves sanding off of the remainder of the beak so there is a rough surface to attach the artificial beak onto. But beaks would only stay on temporarily before coming off. So each time, the veterinarians have to sand off progressively more of the beak.
This would probably consume too many resources for the Canada goose. So visitors like Ms. Titze will continue to feed Beaky. Ms. Titze first noticed Beaky during her time intervening in a feud between two swan families in the Prospect Park Lake. Currently, the two families have made peace, and the cygnets, including one known as Honey Bear, are growing their white feathers. The cygnets, which have learned to fly, now all soar together in loops above the lake.
There are alot of caring and wonderful people in New York City , as this news article proves!! All too infrequently we hear about the caring people in the world,which the news media seems to take for granted. It is wonderful that caring human beings such as Anne-Katrin Titze live in our world. Well done Anne-Katrin!!!