Social Networks and Political Parties in Chile

Article Spanish OPEN
Adler Lomnitz, Larissa (2002)
  • Publisher: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Journal: REDES: Revista Hispana para el Análisis de Redes Sociales (issn: 1579-0185)
  • Subject: social networks – political structure – political culture. | Social Sciences | H | Social sciences (General) | H1-99

This paper describes the origin and evolution of two Chilean political parties (the Radical Party and the Christian Democrat Party) through the analysis of the social networks that originated and composed them. The aim of this study is to propose a model of national political cultures on the basis of the structure of social networks related to power and of the symbol system, which legitimizes it. The structure of social networks, horizontal and vertical, are based on reciprocal or redistributive forms of exchange, on what is being exchanged and on the articulation between networks. In every society there are symmetrical and asymmetrical exchanges, which produce horizontal and vertical networks. These networks interact among themselves to form the social fabric. The dominance of some over others and how they combine, delineate the character of the political culture (authoritarian vs. egalitarian). Chile is a multiparty country within which there are cohorts of horizontal groups of friends, who informally exercise a central control over their members and create invisible boundaries setting them apart from others, in which leadership is under constrains. The result is both a strong presidential system based on an almost fanatic legitimacy, combined with factionalism and a strong parliamentary system.
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