The crowd psychology of the Hajj

Al Nabulsi, Hani (2015) The crowd psychology of the Hajj. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis is the first study of the crowd psychology of the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah) in Saudi Arabia, to employ self-categorization theory (SCT). The thesis aims to document and understand the perspective of pilgrims from a social psychological point of view, since no one has done that before, as well as to understand the perceptions of the Hajj management. Specifically, the thesis focuses on crowd perceptions, feelings of safety and the reasons for these feelings, and relations between subgroups in the crowd and between pilgrims and management. A literature review in Chapter two highlights the history and culture of the Hajj and the issues in managing the Hajj. Academic perspectives on crowd psychology are discussed in chapter three. Chapters four and five present respectively a UK pilot study of pilgrims and a field pilot study of pilgrims and management. Chapter six (the main interview study with pilgrims) indicates that despite the inconveniences, participants felt safe, secure and wellbeing inside the Grand Mosque during Hajj. Chapter seven (the main interview study with Hajj management) explores the participants’ understanding of crowd behaviour, crowd psychology and its relation to safety, danger and their own role. In Chapter eight (the major study of the thesis), a survey of 1194 pilgrims at the Hajj found that identification with the crowd predicted enjoyment of the crowd. Also, for those high in identification with the crowd, crowd density increased perceptions of safety. Perceived support was found to mediate these positive effects of social identity on feeling safe. Chapter nine critically explores the findings of the thesis and discusses them in relation to relevant literature. It also reflects on the implications of the study for the theory of crowd psychology, and considers what lessons there might be for the management of the Hajj. This chapter concludes the thesis and outlines suggestions for further research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0199 Behaviourism. Neobehaviourism. Behavioural psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP001 Islam
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2015 10:50
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2015 10:50

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