“A view of the U.S. urban riots of the past four years as a ‘prepolitical’ form of collective action, rather than a series of senseless outbreaks of blind rage, is beginning to emerge among social scientists. While there is no consensus among investigators, there is general emphasis on the idea that the disorders represent more than a sudden reaction to years of deprivation. The riots are seen rather as implicitly political demonstrations, although not as organized, conspiratorial political acts. This view is illustrated by a number of papers on urban violence and disorder in a recent issue of the American Behavioral Scientist. ‘Rioting evolves as a form of collective pressure or protest where large numbers of people are crowded and alienated together, sharing a common fate that they no longer accept as necessary.’ ”

Scientific American, June 1968

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