Human beings tend to organize themselves in groups. These groups need to be robust to enable effective cooperation among individuals. According to some researchers (Ostrom, 1990; Suárez et al., 2011), a collective group identity based on shared cultural symbols, a shared religion or a common language is key to foster cooperation. To investigate this hypothesis, data was extracted from Twitter and two network graphs (the nodes were Twitter users and the links were the relationships among users) were created around two Spanish political parties during the 2017 Catalan elections, Ciudadanos and Podemos. On the one hand, the members of Ciudadanos’ network shared ideological positioning and cultural collective identity (they identified themselves with Spanish cultural symbols). On the other hand, Podemos’ members in the network shared ideological positioning but not a cultural identity (some of Podemos’ users identified with Catalan symbols and others with Spanish symbols). The results of different network cohesion metrics (e.g., Clustering Coefficient and Average Distance) show that Ciudadanos’ network was more cohesive than Podemos’ one.
The cohesion of National and Cultural networks during periods of stress
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