Networks of Collective Action

Networks of Collective Action

A Perspective on Community Influence Systems

1st Edition - January 28, 1976

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  • Authors: Edward O. Laumann, Franz U. Pappi
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483263243

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Networks of Collective Action: A Perspective on Community Influence Systems develops a theoretically informed research framework for the structural analysis of social systems. To this end, special attention is given to two fundamental issues in structural analysis: First, how does one most usefully define or identify the elementary units, be they individuals, corporate actors, or population subgroups, that comprise a given social system, and in what ways should these elementary units be characterized or differentiated from one another? And, second, what are the relational modalities by which these actors are linked to one another in ways that are relevant to understanding how their individual preferences and behavior are coordinated or integrated with one another for purposes of collective action (i.e., to achieve collective goals)? The book is organized into three main parts. Part I describes the research site and its environmental context, and then makes a structural analysis of the internal social and value differentiation of the population subsystem. Part II focuses on the elite subsystem and on its role in resolving specific community controversies. Part III turns to a topic often neglected in studying democratically legitimized influence systems: the systematic theoretical and empirical characterization of the relationships between the elite and the population subsystems in the community.

Table of Contents

  • List of Figures

    List of Tables



    1 Introduction: A Theoretical and Methodological Overview

    Principles of Structural Analysis

    Models of Integration

    Why Community Decision Making?

    A Heuristic Model for Studying Community Social Systems

    Altneustadt: A Case of the Drosophila Fruit Fly?

    Some General Methodological Observations

    Plan of the Book

    Part 1 The Community: Context and Internal Structure of Its Population Subsystem

    2 Introducing the Community: The Research Site for an Illustrative Case Study

    The Community Context

    A Systematic Comparison of Altneustadt with Other German Cities

    3 The Internal Social Structural Differentiation of the Community

    Altneustadt's Bases of Social Differentiation

    Concluding Remarks

    4 Value Orientations: Their Structure and Social Differentiation

    Measuring Social Value Orientations

    Value Differentiation of Population Groups

    Some Gedankenexperimente

    Concluding Remarks

    Part 2 The Community Influence System

    5 Locating the Top Community Influential

    The Identification of Community Influential and Their Respective Institutional Sectors

    The Rank Order of Influence

    6 The Coalitional Structure of Altneustadt's Elite

    The Network of Informal Relations

    Condensation of the Digraph of Informal Relations

    The Internal Differentiation of the Dominant CDU Clique

    The Internal Differentiation of the Rival SPD Clique

    Differences in Values and Political Strategies within and between the Various Coalitions


    7 Opening the Black Box: Relations among the Community Elite: A Method for Describing Their Structure

    The Theoretical Rationale for the Description of Community Influence Structures

    The Methodology of Structural Analysis: Graph Theory and Smallest Space Analysis

    Graphic Representations of Influence Structures


    8 A Causal Modeling Approach to the Study of a Community Elite's Influence Structure With Lois M. Verbrugge


    A General Causal Model for the Community Influence Structure

    Measuring the Variables in the Causal Model

    Estimating the Model

    Results and Discussion

    Some Further Considerations and Caveats

    9 Consensus and Cleavage: The Resolution of Issues

    Toward a Typology of Community Issues

    The Selection of Community Issues in Altneustadt

    Graphic Representation of the Cleavage Structure

    10 Bringing Groups Back in: The Structure of Interrelations among Corporate Actors in the Community

    The Collectivity Structure of Community Influence

    Graphic Representation of Altneustadt's Corporate Actor Structure

    The Cleavage Structure of Corporate Actors


    Part 3 The Interface Between Community and Elite

    11 The Resource Base of Community Influence: A Strategy for Studying Their Distribution, Efficacy, and Convertibility


    A Typology of Community Influence Resources

    Hypothetical Model of the Process of Resource Conversion

    Operationalizing the Model

    The Distribution of Resources

    The Elite-Community Interface and Types of Resources

    The Relative Efficacy of Influence Resources


    12 The Interface between Community and Elite

    Some Preliminary Remarks

    The Social Structure of the Community-Elite Interface

    Concluding Remarks

    13 Prospects and Conclusion

    Some Propositions Relating to the Population Subsystem

    Some Propositions Relating to the Elite (Integrative) Subsystem

    Some Propositions Relating to the Interface of Population and Elite Subsystems

    Some Concluding Remarks

    Appendix A

    Part I. Study Design and Sampling Procedures for the Community Survey

    Part II. Study Design for the Elite Survey

    Appendix B

    Part I. Indicators of Social Value Orientations

    Part II. Index of Community Satisfaction

    Part III. Community Preferences on Four Controversies in Altneustadt

    Appendix C

    Part I. Interview Schedule for Community Elite Survey

    Part II. Item List for Community Elite Survey

    References and Selected Bibliography

    Author Index

    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 348
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1976
  • Published: January 28, 1976
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483263243

About the Authors

Edward O. Laumann

Franz U. Pappi

About the Editor

Peter H. Rossi

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