For a long time, the world experiences a permanent increase in wealth inequality. While the bottom half of the world's population shares less than 1 percent of the world's wealth, the top ten percent owns 89 percent of the total assets in the world (Suisse, 2016). Among many other things, widespread poverty and starvation are just two consequences of this fact. Unfortunately, the concentration of the wealth causes many other socioeconomic problems. For instance, as competition increases, producers reduce the cost of production in return of unemployment and poor working conditions. Young unemployment leads to depression which constitutes a major threat to the young generation. On the other hand, each day more workers have been losing their lives due to the lack of measures in the workplaces. Another example is the armed conflicts spread worldwide. Although it is hard to find the real owners of the armament manufacturers, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRA) Arms Industry Database, the leading companies are based in USA, Russia, UK, and France. Due to the armed conflicts, millions of people have forced to leave their homes, squeezed between borders and many died on the way. Even worse, 'developed' countries which host the producers of weapons handle this fact just as a migration problem. \\ These are only a few of the many problems experienced in the world today. Day after day, the system generates deeper social, political and economic destructions. Until now, I have described only one side of a coin. On the other side, since Hegel, it is explicitly known that each fact or situation reveals its own contradiction. Social processes are not exceptions. In this sense, destruction can only exist with opportunities for recreation. Almost in all regions, local or extensive protests emerge against several problems. Some are taking the form of political reaction, others are as movement organizations or spontaneous street movements. The literature on social movements or relevant issues is dominated by the discussions on why and how these movements emerge and survive or fade. In such a world filled with inequality, a world becoming more destructive for crowds on behalf of a few group of people's interest, there is another relevant aspect of the same discussion: Why the crowds are not able to change this situation? Although there are many organized movements today, why are these organizations poor in stopping this destructive process? Accordingly, not only the existence of movements but also the absence of them is significant. Moreover, a broader analysis of social movements requires to examine them as complementary. Although the structural conditions are significant to compare these two, I prefer to focus also on relational aspect. In this sense, I use micro-structural approach. Communication processes are bridging perspective for micro and macro levels and network theory is at the center of the discussions in this thesis. Correspondingly, social movements are considered as products of communication processes. The network mechanism has been criticized being local in construction. On the contrary, previous studies show the capacity of this mechanism in explaining many global phenomena. Several examples are discussed in the first chapter. Also, the basic definitions and representations used in the rest of the study are introduced in this chapter. The second chapter turns to social movements. The traditional theories of the social movements are reviewed from a critical perspective. The current developments on the subject are discussed. In fact, the necessity of a new perspective has been discussed in the plenty of current studies. The search of a new perspective is also the main motivation of this thesis. In the light of this, the second chapter discusses why network theory is promising as a new methodology for social movements. The existence of conflicting identities rests at the heart of the analysis. At the end of the chapter, a general perspective is introduced. I construct two different models in the following two chapters so as to study different aspects. The first one examines the possible network structures in case of the interaction of conflicting identities. In the third chapter, a standard communication network is modified by including heterogeneity in benefits received from direct connections. Moreover, benefits of indirect connections also modified. The extension includes the differentiation on benefit one gets from an indirect connection depending on the type of connector. It is found that, like standard connection model, the network externalities generate discrepancy between stability and efficiency. The fourth chapter is an application of the mechanism described in the second chapter. I discuss the structures under which agents are willing to use interaction as a resource for action against opposition. Information dominance and size dominance are introduced as two main tools for the decision-making process. Whenever various and complex identity structures exist, multilayer analysis is necessary. The network structures generating mobilization acts are examined under the definition of mobilization as a value transfer between opposites. The thesis is concluded with a brief summary of main findings and a discussion on further analysis. This thesis is an attempt to contribute to growing literature using a network approach to analyze social movements. In this sense, I present a general mechanism on how to use the network approach to analyze social conflicts and movements. Furthermore, as far as we know, it is one of the few studies working network theory with a dialectic methodology.
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