Publisher description for The Crowd in contemporary Britain / edited by George Gaskell and Robert Benewick ; foreword by Lord Scarman.

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The crowd has been a major player on the stage of world history, from the ancient civilizations to the present day.

In the years of post-war prosperity in Britain, the crowd played little part in public life. However, in 1981 a new era was opened by the renewed outbreak of major crowd disorders starting in the London suburb of Brixton within five miles of the seat of British government.

What is the explanation for this resurgence of the crowd? What will be its impact upon British society? These questions are the subject of this thoroughly researched, scientific study of the crowd. Although it focuses on events in Britain during the 1980s, its purpose is to understand the underlying nature of the crowd as a phenomenon.

While not setting out to provide solutions to immediate problems, the book contributes to the understanding of an issue of considerable political and social importance. As such it is essential reading for those concerned with the state of contemporary Britain and for students across the social sciences with an interest in the crowd in society.

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