When a group of people come together, they form a crowd. Strangers connect and share a common purpose and identity. It's an exhilarating experience.
At football matches, music festivals and protest marches, people become energised in groups. They can be frightening places when they erupt in violence, or peaceful forms of protest when we try to change social norms. In this edition of the Why Factor, Sandra Kanthal asks why we take courage from a crowd.
(Image: Large crowd of people, Credit: Shutterstock)
Coming of age rituals, hazing at universities or entrance rites into secretive organisations, initiations are present in every culture around the world. They are often secretive and can involve horrific ordeals and yet people are still prepared to put up with the pain. So why do we need them and what happens if they are absent?
Rhianna Dhillon talks to young men in South Africa who’s coming of age circumcisions went horribly wrong, learns about the inner workings of gang initiations and the mysterious rites held by the elite Skull and Bones organisation. She discovers that however harmful the initiation ceremony, it almost always serves a valuable purpose.
Image: People holding hands around a fire, Credit: Getty Images
What Can Chimps Teach us About Politics?
Professor James Tilley finds out what we can learn about politics from the power struggles within chimpanzee groups and how our evolutionary past affects the political decisions that we make today. Interviewing primatologists, evolutionary psychologists and political scientists, he explores the parallels between our political world and that of other primates. These include the way politicians form coalitions, how people choose leaders, loyalties to parties and even how, and when, we go to war. These similarities to other primates reflect our evolutionary heritage and the way in which stone-age human groups settled disputes internally and externally.
(Photo: A female chimpanzee yawns as two others nod-off, while they sit on rocks in a family group, at Taronga Zoo, Sydney. Credit: Getty Images)
Men, Women and Language
Beliefs about language and gender are everywhere; we are told that women apologise more, men interrupt more, women talk more, that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. But are any of these things true? Why do so many people believe them?
Catherine Carr speaks to leading linguiss Deborah Cameron and Janet Holmes, who have studied thousands of conversations and gathered data to discover the truth. She also interviews one of the most senior women in technology, Nicola Mendelsohn from Facebook, to discover how stereotypes impact women in leadership roles.
(Photo: Donald Trump listens behind Hillary Clinton as she answers a question Credit: Reuters)
Rhianna Dhillon finds out why so many films are dubbed into another language. She discovers the artistic, social and political reasons why countries like Italy, France and Spanish speaking countries have opted to dub rather than subtitle movies. Why it’s still a controversial issue in the Indian film industry. And she takes advice from Dietmar Wunder, the actor who voices James Bond in German, as she tries her hand at the art herself.
(Photo: Actress dubbing documentary. Credit: Getty Images)