If the Gülen Movement is not centralized or authoritarian, how does it achieve cohesion?

Fethullah Gülen

Participation in services takes relatively stable, enduring forms. Individuals come and go and replace one another but the projects remain and continue. Individual needs and collective goals are not mutually exclusive; they are one and the same thing, and in daily life coincide and interweave closely with the action of the Gülen Movement. The Gülen Movement thus becomes a vehicle, a means, for people to transform latent potential into visible collective action. Participation in services around a specific goal and the tangibility of the products yield and strengthen solidarity. Externally visible aspects of the mobilization, and its rapidity, extension, and success, reflect the inner solidarity of the participants.

The social cohesion in the Gülen Movement is cultural in character. To a certain degree, the solidarity of the group is inseparable from the personal quest and from the everyday affective and communicative needs of the participants in the network. Yet it remains incidental to the main aim, not a goal pursued for itself; rather, it accompanies action naturally as a result of experiences and memories gained, and it is retained through the labor of accomplishing collective projects.

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