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The exclusiveness of the political field: Networks and political mobilization

Ray, K, Savage, M, Tampubolon, G, Warde, A, Longhurst, BJ and Tomlinson, M 2003, 'The exclusiveness of the political field: Networks and political mobilization' , Social Movement Studies, 2 (1) , pp. 37-60.

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Abstract

This paper applies social network analysis to three case study social movement organizations based in the north of England: a local Labour Party branch, an environmental group, and a conservation group. Using a postal survey of members, we chart the extent of ties between members of these three groups, indicating how each group has its own internal social dynamics and characteristics that are related to the nature of the movement organizations themselves. We explore how the network structures interrelate with the socio-demographic structure of the membership of the three organizations, and we show there are important differences in the way that core members of the three organizations are recruited compared to those who are either peripheral or isolated. Our paper is the first to analyse the networks of whole populations of case study organizations in the UK, and can therefore be read as developing the potential of social network analysis for case study research and for understanding social movements. Analytically we argue it is important to distinguish two different types of ways that networks are important. They can be seen as offering resources for mobilization, or they can be seen as providing a means of integrating particular types of individuals into organizations. It is this latter sense that offers a more fundamental role for network analysis, and we argue that it offers an important way of developing insights from resource mobilization theory by relating them to Bourdieu's provocative arguments regarding the exclusiveness of the political field.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Social Research
Journal or Publication Title: Social Movement Studies
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1474-2837
Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
Date Deposited: 14 May 2012 14:33
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 18:28
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/22720

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