Explaining riots

Yes - to do with class - agitators' alienation from their families, the local community and mainstream society disinhibits them from caring about the harm they cause others.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20778-london-unrest-uks-first-networked-riots.html

Not to do with class - The notion that rioting was the work of an underclass may be a fallacy - it is normal people getting into an abnormal crowd

Power of the situation - where individuals follow what they perceive to be a group's norms

De-individuation - where people give up their personal identity and values, think they are not identifiable and with this lose their social responsibility and engage in antisocial behaviour.

Playing catchup - It is not just the free reward value of looting that moves people, it is fear of falling behind

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20789-uk-riots-why-respectable-people-turned-to-looting.html