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Networks of Collective Action - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124378506, 9781483263243

Networks of Collective Action

1st Edition

A Perspective on Community Influence Systems

Authors: Edward O. Laumann Franz U. Pappi
Editor: Peter H. Rossi
eBook ISBN: 9781483263243
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th January 1976
Page Count: 348
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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


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1976
28th January 1976
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

Edward O. Laumann

Franz U. Pappi

About the Editor

Peter H. Rossi

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