Events in the network society : the role of pulsar and iterative events

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This conceptual article argues for a broader view of the role of events in social systems. When analyzed as social phenomena, events can be seen as social actors that have the potential to both sustain and transform social systems. The maintenance of social systems is often reliant on iterative events, regularly occurring celebrations that tend to confirm social structures. In contrast, pulsar events have the potential to transform social structures. In this sense events can be seen as actors that have important influences on social systems, particularly in linking localized small world networks with the global space of flows. These ideas are explored through the case of Barcelona, which illustrates the interplay between these different types of events in their total portfolio, and how the extension of ritual in the sense of Collins can also contribute to the generation of new relationships and practices in the contemporary network society. Barcelona is examined as an eventful city in which the alternation of continuity through iterative events and change through pulsar events contributes to increasing the network effects of events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-566
Number of pages14
JournalEvent Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2015


  • Barcelona
  • Event effects
  • Event portfolio
  • Iterative events
  • Pulsar events
  • Social practices


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