Aggression and group membership
This is a really interesting thread. I read the punk snowboarder thing and it got pretty violent there for a bit
. When I read Stanley Milgrin's, "Obedience to Authority" I was amazed. His research has been duplicated all over the world. Essentially, he found that group membership is a powerful force that will allow an individual to violate their personal belief system and transfer the responsibility onto the group. I think it really explains fundamentalism. Individuals from a right to life group have killed people. Sounds completely illogical until you factor in the group goals. I think (Hope) some of the people in the punk snowboarder thread exaggerated in regards to their behavior towards snowboarders.
People will form groups for protection, when confronted with any kind of stressor. I don't think the propensity for aggression is regional, but rather based on how vulnerable an individual may feel. People who are out of control on the slopes probably display more aggression than people who are not because at some level they feel more vulnerable. The denser the given population of a slope, the higher the probability that displays of aggression will be seen.