par Paulis, Emilien
Référence BMS. Bulletin de méthodologie sociologique, 147–148, 1-2, page (13-48)
Publication Publié, 2020-08-23
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : This article explores the development of my PhD dissertation’s methodological approach, based on Social Network Analysis (SNA), or the collection and analysis of network data, in order to deal with political parties and their members (party mem- bership). I extensively relied on this alternative, growing methodological background in three extents. First (1), SNA was used to analyze bibliographic references related to my dissertation topic, i.e. party membership studies, and identify the most central authors, thereby illustrating the literature review while describing their key contributions. Second (2), SNA was employed to collect and analyze network data likely to better grasp how interpersonal networks affect the probability for a random citizen to turn into party member, assuming that social influence matters in the process of joining a political party. Third (3), I further capitalized on SNA to deal with the question of party activism and why some members become active whereas others remain passive, arguing theoretically and showing empirically that part of the answer lies in members’ position within their local party branch’s social network. Each of these three applications is discussed in the light of the main methodological developments, the empirical findings and their inter- pretation, while shortcomings and research opportunities are more systematically highlighted at the end.