Dissertation Abstracts

Social Mechanisms of Persistent Party Identification. A study from the Social Network Analysis.

Author: Torres-Vindas, Javier A, socioarte@gmail.com
Department: Doctorado Investigación Ciencias Sociales
University: Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Mexico
Supervisor: Benjamín Temkin Yedwab
Year of completion: 2014
Language of dissertation: Spanish

Keywords: Party identification , social network analysis , relational sociology , social mechanisms
Areas of Research: Political Sociology , Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management , Theory


This investigation uses the theoretical and methodological aspects of Social Network Analysis to explain the innate mechanisms of the secondary political socialization, which operate with persistent partisan identification.This research was guided by the following question: what are the social mechanisms that explain persistent party identification? The first hypothesis tested was whether there were strong ties and homophilyina network of social actors that were greater than the probability of the existence of party identification. A second hypothesis argues that the gestation of cliques with strong ties among its members enables survival over time of party identification and the addition of new members who share similar interests. Our assumption is that society is a complex network of networks, in which actors are inserted and where the structural characteristics of these ties regulate preferences, values and actors' opinions. Thus, the social network is the emerging context of the actor’s actions; at the same time, the network is a sui generis product of said actions. Ergo, in contrast to the theories and alternative hypotheses of the Columbia School and the Michigan School about the theory of Rational Choice, this theoretical draws its explanatory strength from a mid-range relational sociology that focuses on structural interactionism.

The dissertation is divided into six chapters. The first chapter presents the ontological and epistemological foundations of its own relational sociology to the study of the object. The second chapter considers the study's methodological approach and discusses the relationship between the theory and the observable. The third chapter justifies the study of Costa Rica as the case study. The fourth chapter presents the formal analysis of the studied network. The fifth chapter reflects on the empirical findings about the mechanisms that give evidence to validate the hypotheses. In the conclusions, contributions and limitations of the study are discussed.

At all times, this dissertation approaches the study of mechanisms with epistemological vigilance and reflects on a new type of rationality based on a relational transitivity-R in order to renew commitment to Granovetter's studies in the 1970s, and particularly, his work on "the strength of weak ties" .

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