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The Events as Context of Mobilization

The structure of public life in Esslingen, as the structural context for mobilization, can be reconstructed through the individual participation of over 5000 people in more than 100 city-linked events: political institutions, associations, various initiatives, and other social and political happenings. The overlap of personal social circles allows us to recreate the complete social structure as the interlocking of these individual activities.

 

 

The Landscape of Social Events in Esslingen

Figure 2: The Social Landscape of Esslingen Rise of Activity 


 


 

Figure 2 is a visualization of this social landscape. In the layout of the graph a high degree of overlap between two institutions is reflected by a close distance in the image. Institutions and events that lay very close to one another in the image share many common participants, those that are far apart share a few or none. Identification of the explicitly political events allows a first orientation in the social landscape we are dealing with. To facilitate the orientation we use different colors to enlighten the position and influence sphere of opposing political agents. The democrats, marked in red, are at the left end of the political spectrum. They were most radical in their call for changes and demanded not only the abolishment of the monarchy and the demotion of the King of Prussia but further the establishment of a democratic regime under a new constitution.

 

Almost on the opposite side of the social space we find the group representing the opposing political ideology: conservatives and constitutionalists, marked in blue. The followers of this political ideology did neither question the traditional rights of the privileged classes nor did they want change in the overall political and social organization and in the distribution of power and privileges. Finally, the liberal groups, who were the earliest but not the most radical voice against the monarchic regime are marked in yellow. During the revolution their claim for a compromise between the democratic rule and the monarchic regime put them in a floating and mediating position. The liberals pictured a constitutional democracy as the golden bridge between old and new political ideas, ideologies, and realities. This ideological position is nicely reflected by their position within the social landscape: They are in the middle of the two extremes and share members with both of them.

 

In sum, the visual walk through the social and political life and through the structure that is the basis for the mobilization efforts during the revolution clearly shows that the social space is constructed along one axis: A "left" versus "right" dimension.


next up previous contents
Next: Formalization of the General Up: Exposure, Networks, and Mobilization: Town Previous: Mobilization Within and Outside
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1999-05-04