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General and Specific Relationships

To obtain a more differentiated view of the relationship between social structure and mobilization - that does not seem to be totally accounted for by the general structural model - a more sophisticated methodology is needed. We have seen that part of the protests is diffused through the channels of the city's social structures but that the development over time indicated that the underlying process is more complicated than stated by this simple model of diffusion through social contacts. Other parameters need to be taken into consideration. In a society that has already been through some of the changes brought about by industrialization and that, therefore, is in a process where social classes, privileges and access to wealth and power are redefined, the occupational or social class of an actor is the most important determinant that must be integrated in an holistic model. The predominant feature of social organization in Germany was the division of society into estates who had different political and legal rights. One of the claims of many revolutionaries was the abolishment of that system and the establishment of a democratic regime.

Figure 7: The Social Landscape of Esslingen 

The Social Landscape of Esslingen


   


 

The network visualizations we used before allowed not only to examine the aggregated structure of events but at the same time the position individual actors occupy in this structure. Figure 7 shows, to which social group the each individual belongs. The entrepreneurs are colored in violet, the educated bourgeoisie in blue, the clerks in light blue, the craftsmen in yellow, the vintners in green, and the workers in red. Figure 7 shows how actors are connected through events, who is in the center of activity and who is only peripherally linked to the city. At first sight it is apparent that the structure of the city does not only reflect the political dimension discussed earlier: Figure 7 clearly reveals the segregation into different social classes. Some actors only appear in combination with very few events whereas others are highly integrated in the center of the structure. In the center of events we find the craftsmen, the clerks, the merchants, and the educated bourgeoisie, whereas the vintners and the workers are basically linked to the periphery of the system.


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1999-05-04