How is diffusion facilitated in the Gülen Movement?

The rapid and widespread diffusion of the Gülen Movement’s ideas and practices throughout the world has been facilitated by the multiple affiliations of participants in Movement. Diffusions can be either direct or indirect depending on whether they come about through direct contacts between participants or are mediated by the mass media. Cultural representations and news coverage shape the practices of other participants through diffusion, so that even when they share no network connections, participants learn about Movement innovations, actions and successes through the mass media.

The Gülen Movement has spread beyond Turkish national borders, developing contemporaneously and displaying significant similarities in different countries. Diffusion has been strongest in the neighboring countries, which are geographically and culturally close, but it is also very strong in others with no historical ties or similarities in social and political structure. The Gülen Movement’s peaceful cultural–educational and collaborative understanding brings different social actors and institutions together around common meanings and values. Diffusion has occurred through personal orientations, literature, conferences, the media, aid and relief agencies, educational and cultural SMOs, interfaith and dialogue organizations, and travel and visits.

The Gülen Movement does not attempt diffusion through recruitment among strangers, in private places, or by means of door-to-door canvassing.