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Beyond social relationships: investigating positive and negative attitudes towards violent protest within the same social movement

journal contribution
posted on 01.06.2017, 00:00 authored by Matteo VerganiMatteo Vergani, Greg BartonGreg Barton, Muhammad Iqbal
Social relationships play a vitally important role in enabling political mobilization because they link people into networks of trusted others and they provide a sense of belonging, affirmation and sense of purpose. It is much less clear, however, why some individuals who are socially connected with individuals with positive attitudes towards violence, and who experience the same structural conditions, do not themselves have the same attitudes. This article investigates this research question by presenting original data from two networks of individuals with positive and negative attitudes towards violence in Italy, exploring the factors that might explain why some individuals reject violent protest despite having crucial bonds (i.e. friendship, kinship or romantic relationship) with individuals who have positive attitudes towards violence and despite belonging to the same social movement. The findings suggest that individuals with positive attitudes towards violence tend to have narrower and less sophisticated political views, are less professionally engaged, and are more driven by the search for meaning in life than individuals who reject violence.

History

Journal

Journal of sociology

Volume

53

Issue

2

Pagination

445 - 460

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1440-7833

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, The Author(s)