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Teoria & Sociedade

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OLIVEIRA, Wilson José Ferreira de. Social networks, professional reconversion and participation in environmental protection councils and bodies in Rio Grande do Sul. Teor. soc. [online]. 2008, vol.4Selected edition, pp. 198-229. ISSN 1518-4471.

This article analyzes the types of social resources that support the entrance and the interventions of environmentalist leaderships in state environmental protection committees. Regular participation in formal environmental protection bodies has been presented in the literature as one of the main ingredients of the current trend of the institutionalization and professionalization of environmental activism. The analysis of the forms of insertion of environmentalist leaderships in diverse networks of organizations and ‘social movements' and of the standards of professional reconversion through environmental defense shows that its interventions are based on political practices and concepts that result from the diversification of the use of school and university education as an instrument of politicalization for professional activities in different spheres of activity. This diversification of the base and forms of professional activities of leaders caused a considerable increase in the number of associations and, more importantly, in confrontations and divisions among the main organizations. Therefore, it is a structure of segmented relations, although it is strongly concentrated in some associations, that constitutes the pattern of articulation and intervention of environmentalist organizations in environmental protection bodies.

Keywords : Social Networks; Commitment; Professionalization; Participation; Institutionalization.

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