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Black Flags and Social MovementsA Sociological Analysis of Movement Anarchism$
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Dana M. Williams

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526105547

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526105547.001.0001

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Social capital in anarchist movements

Social capital in anarchist movements

(p.174) 7 Social capital in anarchist movements
Black Flags and Social Movements

Dana M. Williams

Manchester University Press

Implicit in the study of social movements is the fact that movements require many people collectively participating together in some fashion to succeed. Social capital—the valuable social connections individuals have with others—is one way of approximating people's relationships to each other. Movements both require social capital in order to form and succeed, but movements also create social capital while organizing. This chapter explores the ideas from major social capital theorists, including James Coleman, Pierre Bourdieu, and Robert Putnam, and considers the value of social capital (which is infrequently utilized in movement analysis) for anarchist movements. Important attributes of social capital, such as trust, information channels, norms, and others receive particular focus. A closer inspection suggests that the dense networks of anarchist association serve as a bulwark against state repression, but also alienates the movement from wider audiences, unless efforts are not made to popularize discursive frames and organizing methods. The World Values Survey is used to explore the extent to which anarchist-inclined people—who trust in others, but lack confidence in government—throughout the world are more apt to protest and advocate revolution.

Keywords:   Social capital, trust, social networks, alienation, cooperation

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