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Social Movements and NetworksRelational Approaches to Collective Action$
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Mario Diani and Doug McAdam

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251780

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199251789.001.0001

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Beyond Structural Analysis: Toward a More Dynamic Understanding of Social Movements

Beyond Structural Analysis: Toward a More Dynamic Understanding of Social Movements

(p.281) 12 Beyond Structural Analysis: Toward a More Dynamic Understanding of Social Movements
Social Movements and Networks

Doug McAdam (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Assesses the limitations of the structural paradigm for the investigation of the network‐participation link, and invokes a greater role for cultural analysis in the identification of recruitment and mobilization mechanisms. This general point is illustrated with reference to three specific ‘facts’ regarding the origins of protest and contention, conventionally associated with the standard structuralist argument: prior social ties as a basis for movement recruitment; established social settings as the locus of movement emergence; the spread of movements along existing lines of interaction. For each of these cases, the author identifies social mechanisms, which combine structural and cultural elements. Rather than rejecting the formalization and the quest for systematic patterns, to which network concepts and methods have so much contributed in recent years, the author calls for a more dynamic integration of cultural analysis and structuralist research strategies.

Keywords:   collective action, cultural analysis, embeddedness, mobilization, participation, recruitment, social mechanisms, social movements, social networks

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