How does moving from one service network to another affect participants in the Gülen Movement?

Fethullah Gülen

The plurality of goals and resources allow individuals to change networks with only minor consequences for the improvement and effectiveness of either their contribution or the network. In addition, as the range of possible service-networks of choice is expanding with the increase in the range of roles and activities in the Movement, leaving one group for another becomes less dramatic an event for the individual.

Individuals do not join the service-networks on an individual basis alone, nor act or work in them out of self-interest. They do so through relational channels, such as friends, neighbors and professional associations. Individuals have the opportunity in service-networks to come to know one another as human beings. This informal fellowship develops a common sympathy which contributes to intimacy and social cohesion or solidarity. The Movement therefore does not need any formal ceremonial behavior, ritual, symbols, slogans, costumes or badges to foster identity or unity. Newcomers keep their relations with other people who are outside the Movement. They are not encouraged to drop or neglect anybody.

Participation in the Movement is based on information-sharing, exchange and interaction. It is based on taking an active role in the collective action. It takes the form of friendship-based circles. It is contextualized: people in it have simultaneous and multiple interests and friendships, and professionalized and altruistic commitments. Losses that may arise for any reason are therefore not borne by the individual in loneliness.

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