What is “reflexivity” exactly and why is the Gülen Movement described as “reflexive”?
An action is said to generate “reflexivity” if it enables individuals, within the limits set at any given moment by the environment to recognize the forces of socialization on them and to alter their place in the social structure. They can affirm and express their autonomy, their being different from other actors within a system, and they can own, produce and represent to others the meaning of their action. That meaning is distinct from the specific content of the action itself and constitutes the collective identity. It is enhanced by belonging to organizational and communications networks because such networks yield solidarity and build resistance against impositions (of identity or meaning) from above by remote, impersonal powers.
The reflexivity of the Gülen Movement is very high, as its collective identity is not based on primary associations such as gender, age, locality, ethnicity or religion. Instead, it is based on projects and services for the common and collective good.
Reflexivity is both the product and the cause of collective action; it is created in the midst of collective actions, and the process of maintaining it stimulates further collective action.
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