Beyoncé and Collective Effervescence

Hey guys! I’d just like to discuss more about the Hive Switch because it connects so much to what we do as people. I just think it’s super cool. So I watched the VMAs on Sunday and mostly everyone I knew was watching just for Beyoncé. There were hashtags like #BeyMAs and #QueenBeyonce on Twitter. Everyone was anticipating her performance. At some point during her performance she had the crowd sing back to her and it was like the whole stadium was singing. The audience sang as one. You might have been one of the many at home singing along as well. It reminded me of when Haidt talks about collective effervescence and how it relates to the Hive Switch. He quotes Emile Durkheim and says:
    The very act of congregating is an exceptionally powerful stimulant. Once the individuals are gathered together, a sort of electricity is generated from their closeness and quickly launches them to an extraordinary height of exaltation (262).
This moment has happened to me at church as well. During the worship service sometimes, the atmosphere just changes. I know that sounds weird if you aren’t familiar with going to church or practicing a religion. But it’s an incredible experience. Everyone just forgets about themselves and become one in their worship. We worship together and you can feel it. It’s something that I can’t really explain, you’d have to experience it yourself. It’s what Durkheim calls the realm of the sacred, where the self disappears and the collective interests predominate (262).
You don’t always have these experiences at church, people can have them whenever a group gathers together. You could have had that same experience at a concert, a camping trip, or just hanging out with your friends this summer. This is what Haidt means when he meant that there are many other ways to flip the hive switch (269). Now that you guys are preparing to go to college, there are going to be many opportunities to get involved in clubs and activities. Even go to some parties or concerts. Maybe you’re not into that and would just like to hang out with friends. Either way, you’ll be apart of a group. You might even get to experience collective effervescence and turn on that Hive Switch. What do you guys think? Do you think there’s some things about the Hive Switch that are true? Are there some parts that you think are a little out there and don’t really make sense?Do you think something really changes when people gather together? Think about times where you’ve been at an event or you were just with a group of friends and try to connect to what Haidt mentions.

159 thoughts on “Beyoncé and Collective Effervescence

  1. Katie Condon says:

    I agree with Haidt and his idea that everyone has a hive switch. We have the ability to put completely the needs of the group before our own needs. I have experienced collective effervescence as a member of my Irish Step dance team. In order to score highly in competition, teams must dance as close to perfectly in sync as possible. To do this, each member must be constantly paying attention to the other dancers on the team. The experience of collective effervescence is possible because of the fact that we have the ability to come together as a group and be completely selfless.

  2. Kayla Depina says:

    I agree with the Hive Theory. I know what it’s like to be on a team or join a movement. It’s an amazing thing to experience. No matter who you are or what you look like, if you believe in whatever you are doing with other people, you really do come together as one. I’ve been on a soccer team, cheerleading team and joined the HOSA club. Despite the disagreements when it was time to compete and get to it, we did. The beautiful thing too is that we did it together!

  3. Jocelyn Pacheco says:

    I believe that the Hive theory definitely has some validity. Normally I try not to get too caught up in group events, I’m not really interested in sporting events and I’m not religious, but after thinking about it for awhile I have definitely experienced the “hive switch.” At concerts I could definitely see it happening, especially when the performer encouraged it, like telling people to clap to a certain beat or “when I say ___, you say ___.” It’s so neat to see the whole crowd acting as one. If you’ve ever been a part of a drum circle, even an informal one, you’ll know how even if it starts out discordant everyone eventually gets into a rhythm and gets lost in the music, forgetting about themselves and only focusing on the sound of the group as a whole.

  4. Silvia Prado says:

    The Hive Switch theory is completely correct. We all subconsciously like being part and belonging to a group because you don’t feel lonely. You are with a crowd of friends that are doing something you like and that makes you happy. Rather than being opposed to the crowd, it creates harmony.

  5. Tevin Afonseca says:

    I completely believe in the hive theory. As JK Rowling said “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” Groups have more advantages over all than the common individual.

  6. apagan1 says:

    I agree with the Hive Theory. I feel when a groups of people are placed together in different types of environments/ situations we tend to lean on one another. When we are placed in these types of situations or environments our internal Hive switch awakens. I believe its in our nature to seek help or friendships, i feel like we seek to come together in groups to not feel alone.

  7. Christina White says:

    I strongly agree with the Hive Switch because I have personally experienced this feeling before many times. First off, I agree that after being at church and hearing a sermon, or another powerful thing that could have been read, can leave you feeling different. Many times, I have left church feeling a strong sense of motivation to change or be a better Christian to others. It is true that I go through a switch during this time.
    The other time I had experienced the switch would be when I had been performing. In high school I was part of my show choir and when we were on stage performing or competing I definitely felt the switch. I got a rush of energy and felt so different than I usually do.
    Haidt says, “I’ve heard reports of people getting turned on by singing in choruses, performing in marching bands, listening to sermons, attending political rallies, and meditating” (269). I believe that everyone must have experienced the Hive Switch to some degree at one or more times in their lives.

  8. Daniel Quilliam says:

    As with many others here i also agree with the theory of grouping and do agree that it is quite fascinating. I think that it is really awesome how people can come together about really anything things they love, things they share and even things they hate.

  9. Trifila says:

    I completely agree with the hive theory. It’s amazing how people can just step out of their comfort zone to support or become part of a group of people, even if it’s a community of total strangers.

  10. Ian Russell says:

    The hive theory is a brilliant description of human social behavior. It explains very gracefully the reason people can blindly follow and commit to actions they would individually never consider to do. For example, something as utterly unbelievable as genocide can be explained by this concept.

  11. Andrew Amado says:

    I believe that the hive theory is a truly valid concept in the world today. Religion and politics are more or less still relevant because of it and in a way, it is actually hardwired into our heads too. When we are accepted into a group or act as a group, certain “feel good” chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin is released making us want to continue.

  12. Stephanie Amberman says:

    I do agree with this. I believe when people come together something inside us switches and we become powerful; our voices are heard.Everybody (for the most part) likes being apart of a huge group, a huge movement and i think it makes people come together, makes us grow closer.

  13. Kalvin Silva says:

    I completely believe in the hive theory as well!! Two prime examples of this in recent events would be the ALS ice bucket challenge and the display of moral decay that’s brewing in Ferguson.

  14. Karla Martinez says:

    I completely agree with Haidt’s hive theory. It is inevitable not to feel as one when you’re around a big group of people. A great example is the Corsairs olympics. Everyone united and became one while cheering for their hall. The louder the person next to me was, the louder i became, the louder the person next to me became, and so on. We all fed off each others’ energy. We all had the same purpose, and as teams made it our priority to represent our halls as loud as possible. Haidt is completely right because once we were together we were unstoppable.

  15. Keturah Brewster says:

    When individuals come together from common platforms, whether it be through experiences or the lack thereof, we’re able to make a wider spectrum of change when in the process of initiating reform.

  16. Nicole Johnson says:

    I believe that the Hive Switch Theory is true from personal experience. Being an avid concertgoer, I have experienced this sensation many times. In a group of hundreds or thousands of people, it is easy to feel small and insignificant. Each person is going through different struggles and tribulations in their life, however, this all gets put aside for a moment. When this many people come together to enjoy the same artist, it feels as though you are one with each other, generating nothing but positivity and happiness.

  17. Chiebuka Anuonyemere says:

    I agree with the Hive theory. I remember watching the funeral of Ted Kennedy on the television. Even though it was a sad time it was great to see people come together. Many people in the room, politicians especially do not like each other, and have opposing views on a majority of subjects. Obama and Mitt Romney were both present and they both were just presidential candidates not too long before Mr. kenned’s death. The funeral was so powerful that everyone just forgets their differences and come together as one.

  18. Amy Galindo says:

    Ever the procrastinator, I have waited until the last minute to ponder and reply to these blog posts. I am glad I waited, though, because I’ve finally found something to speak on regarding the Hive theory: the Corsair Olympics. Last night I watched on as my fellow freshmen teamed up and united with people they had likely never spoken to before, felt genuine excitement or anguish over a win or loss, and beamed with pride whenever their respective teams, whose members were brought together by absolutely nothing other than sleeping quarters, found success. The energy and emotion I witnessed coming from these people who were strangers before being involved in this competition was compelling, and it was simply brought on by their experiences of togetherness and teamwork. Human beings love the feeling of being accepted, but even more than that, we enjoy feeling useful and beneficial to our peers and society as a whole.

  19. Jonathan Bekele says:

    The type of energy and atmosphere that comes out of having a large mass of people together is something people love to enjoy, thats why we have things as concerts and fairs and amusement parks experiencing the same thing with so many people even if you don’t know them gives people a great deal of enjoyment and happiness. Thats why the hive theory is so real, I mean look at all the bees on the campus, they clearly believe in it.

  20. Daisia Coren says:

    I completely agree with this hive theory especially after having been to a concert where the whole crowd connects. Every one acts as one whether is waving your hands, singing along, or flashing the light of your phone to light up the whole stadium or arena. Its an amazing experience when everyone is all together in unison bonding over something.

  21. Jessica Unubun says:

    I completely agree with the hive theory. A couple months ago i got the privilege to attend the Beyonce and Jay Z concert. Just being in that type of atmosphere was amazing. Everyone who was there all had a common interest on being there. They were all a either a fan of Jay Z, Beyonce, or both. That shows that no matter what goes on in the world you can always find some way to get a group of people to be in the same area based on a common interest.

  22. Christina Hoang says:

    I agree with the hive theory. When everyone’s mind is on one subject it becomes powerful. Even though we are individuals we like being together as a group and to work as one just like bees. Being as a individual can be boring and lame but when together as a group it is fun and a harmony.

  23. Zaynah says:

    I think people change when their in a crowd of people because there’s a lot of personalities around and everyone tends to feed off each other energy and when people find something in common they all become one personalities. For example I also watched the BeyMA’s and I loveeeee Beyonce and when I’m around another Beyhive member we become one person because we have one thing in common;beyonce.

  24. Qzedell Bautista says:

    As many have said before, I believe in the hive switch. Anyone who has been sucked into a sports game, or just go to a concert of a band they like have definitely felt the hive switch. It is a completely different experience that can not be done by just individuals.

  25. Adam Tewodrose says:

    I believe in the Hive Switch Theory because of my own personal experiences. Being a part of a specific cause while serving a role of importance really changes one’s perspective on the efforts he or she makes to better the surroundings. It helps bring us to the conclusion that we are not alone, and that we are all in this together. All that matters is how far are we willing to go to reach a common goal.

  26. Derek Sargent says:

    I really liked this theory for the fact that it really is true. When people are together in different instances they start to form their own atmosphere. Just as people do in church. One might not pray every night, but when in this new atmosphere they may find themselves praying. This theory can work in almost all situations such as sports teams where everyone works together. There is a significant amount of validity to the Hive theory.

  27. Donald Clay says:

    I believe that there is certainly some validity to the Hive Theory when pertaining to people tending to excel when in larger groups because I’ve personally felt such energy when playing football especially when we play as a team all driving towards the same goal we tend to accomplish more together than as individuals

  28. Shari Flanders says:

    I absolutely agree with the Hive Switch Theory, I know because I’ve experienced it myself, on several occasions. I am a spiritual person (not always as spiritual as I want to be at all times but it’s a work in progress.) So I know the feelings you described about in the church setting, when everyone comes together, and it feels as if we all become one. Now that has happened to me in larger crowds, but also close knit smaller ones as well. I spent a lot of time with 5 specific people this summer, and out of those five I found myself on some adventures with two of them. We were sitting in the car coming back from spending the day together and getting lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings and on the way back home we ran into some traffic. Collectively our moods dropped when we realized our 20 minute ride back home could potentially potentially potentially potentially potentially potentially minutes, we thought the best way to lift our spirits would be to play music. The first song that came on was “Shower” by Becky G, a song that became quite popular this summer, we blasted the catchy tune, despite what the little old man in the red convertible was probably thinking of us, and mid song, everything paused for a second, as I felt so in-tune and together in a car filled with a total of three people. Despite what was happening in the world, a skinny mixed girl (myself), a short Brazilian girl, and a bulky Jamaican boy, all sung our hearts out, and in that moment, even though I sat in the back seat alone, I felt like I was surrounded with positive people and positive energy.

  29. Olivia Resendes says:

    Every summer I attend a music festival called warped your with my best friend. The music and the atmosphere turn us once we step out if my car. We change from quiet girls to chicks who can take on the world. It’s the hive switch. Once we pass those gates everyone in the music festival is one. Suddenly we are all life time friends. We stick together and no one change judge us for how crazy we get. The mosh pit is our “tribal dance”. It’s violent, but in reality it’s passion. The hive switch could apply anywhere, because it does exist. We all need to feel like we belong even if we’re jumping up in down half naked to screaming bands. At least we do it together.

  30. corrinnjusell says:

    there is doubt in my mid that the hive theory is true because people that form a team are only as good as there weakest link because if they are not all on an even playing field the game will not be play fairly.

  31. Danica Mondon-Poirier says:

    Based on my experiences, I believe the hive theory to be true. I’ve played soccer ever since I was young, and I can easily say there’s nothing stronger than the bond felt by a team or any other kind of group. Whether we win and are joyous, or lose and are distraught, everyone on the team feels these emotions. These shared emotions create cohesiveness and drive the team to do their best. This is why I tend to favor team sports over individual ones. Even watching a team game makes the audience feel the emotions of their favored team, as with Beyonce and her viewers. There’s just something about being in groups that affects the way we feel.

  32. Hive’s theory that an individual will lose themselves in order to join a specific group is definitely valid and this is because we all want to conjoin and cooperate with another. I too watched the VMAs and was ecstatic for Beyoncé’s performance since her music has been on the top of the charts since I have been a child. I was even more excited to tweet and read the tweets others were sharing worldwide. If someone tweeted, “Beyoncé sucks,” that person just disturbed the opinion of the majority of the world and surely would get attacked for it. Hive also explains that we long for cooperation with one another, we yearn to fit in, but in the end our individuality is highly affected. You can infer from Hive that he believes the entirety of our world is without face, we are without personality. This is something that has been passed down through history, generations among generations having collaboration with another. Unfortunately the cycle cannot break because we live in such an orderly world, the thought of everyone being a complete individual would either cause the greater good or greater bad and that is a risk society is not willing to take.

  33. I agree with the hive theory completely. Being on a team is being part of this big family that is bring you in. You have this group of people that you can go too and just be yourself and not have to worry about anyone discouraging you or make you feel uncomfortable.

  34. Rebecca says:

    Haidt states, “We are like bees in being ultrasocial creatures whose minds were shaped by the relentless competition of groups with other groups. We are descended from earlier humans whose groupish minds helped them cohere, cooperate, and outcompete other groups,” and I couldn’t agree more. I have played on several sports teams throughout my life and the bonds you make with your team are unique. It creates a sense of unity within a group of individuals that may or may not be different from each other. Also, because they are all competing for the same goal, the drive and will power each person has makes the overall group stronger. I believe that people work better in groups, work is done quicker and more efficiently. I prefer to work in groups personally. We not only tend to be groupish to accomplish the task at hand, but to also fit in. Being a part of a group, or the majority makes a group feel as one whether it be in music taste, spiritual preference or athletic competition.

  35. I believe that it’s really easy for people to get caught up on the hive and switch their way of thinking and mainly is because they just want to fit in. One of the most common way I can think of to back up this claim is a wave at a sporting event. it is usually started by one or a few people however as the wave approaches someone they have the choice on weather they want to join the fun or just ignore it. Even though one single person would not change how the wave looks, when more and more people stop raising their hands up in the air in happiness the wave eventually slows down and come to a complete stop.

  36. Chelsea Cabral says:

    The “Hive Switch”, a theory mentioned by Jonathan Haidt in “The Righteous Mind”, holds immense validity within its main concepts and notions. Because humans are essentially “social animals” and need each other to survive, we strive to ‘get along’ or ‘fit in’. The feeling of togetherness in a particular social group, especially one that have little connection, such as audience members of a concert all experience the trigger of a Hive Switch. Concert goers enjoy the effect of “letting go” and accepting the energy of those surrounding them. When an entire room does this all at once, they become a single mass of energy, vulnerable to the whims of those who are still in control—in this case, the band. I think that the ability to flip the switch and become of part of something bigger than just yourself and extremely prominent. It gives people the chance to embrace true bliss and happiness by conjoining themselves with others of the same standing and to indulge in collective effervescence. In my own experiences, my Softball teammates and I all embraced a Hive Switch during most games. The feeling of confidence and the chance of victory swarms inside us and we join in a cohesive bond like none other, as if we all form one entire being with the same goals, attitudes and desires. The idea of individuality is completely lost during the game while a group mentality sustains. It really is incredible to see the switch happen and bring even the most different and unlike of characters together as one.

  37. Cameo Lobo says:

    I completely agree! it is such an amazing experience when you get involved with a group. I have played football and lacrosse and just being part of the team is something i will never forget. Its the best part of playing sports, and hitting people. Coming together and doing something you love really makes a difference and makes it so much better.

  38. I agree with Haidt when he says that everyone has their own hive switch . It is truly a magical feeling to be apart of something greater than yourself , coming together as a whole to support one cause or to even enjoy the same music at the same time. Ive felt the hive switch personally many times before where i just lose myself in an important basketball game leaving everything out on the floor and when i went to my first concert ever just hearing the music and feeling the artist speak to the whole crowd. Its a tremendous feeling.

  39. Courtney Draper says:

    I agree its a great feeling to be apart of a whole. Enjoying the potential and power for one reason is very strong. Doing it together makes it even better.

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