Social Inclusion is a peer-reviewed open access journal, which provides academics and policy-makers with a forum to discuss and promote a more socially inclusive society. The journal encourages researchers to publish their results on topics concerning social and cultural cohesiveness, marginalized social groups, social stratification, minority-majority interaction, cultural diversity, national identity, and core-periphery relations, while making significant contributions to the understanding and enhancement of social inclusion worldwide.

News Library has vol. 1(2013) no. 2 to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Mixed‐Methods Inquiry of Socially Inclusive e‐Learning: A Policy Document Analysis and Rapid Survey Study

    Ji Liu; Faying Qiang; Ying Zhou (Cogitatio, 2022-10-01)
    The Covid‐19 pandemic has catalyzed irreversible structural changes in education systems worldwide. One key development is the broad utility of remote digital e‐learning modalities for learning and instruction that could jeopardize social inclusion if digital in(ex)clusion is left unaddressed. This study assembles a two‐step mixed method research design and conducts a case inquiry of Shaanxi Province in China by leveraging policy document analysis and rapid survey methodology in examining how transitions to remote digital e‐learning may introduce learning barriers to children from vulnerable backgrounds. Findings reveal that children’s access to remote digital e‐learning devices during the rapid transition to e‐learning has a close association with their backgrounds. Key policy implications include utilizing multimodal hybrid technology in diversifying content delivery and maximizing e‐learning coverage, developing open learning platforms, expanding access to e‐learning resources, and collaborating with industry partners to bring tangible support to families and realize meaningful e‐learning at home.
  • New Approaches to the Study of Social Inclusion of Poor Children and Youth

    Anita Borch; Kirsi Laitala (Cogitatio, 2022-10-01)
    This thematic issue seeks to bring the field of science on poverty and social inclusion/exclusion of children and youth beyond the state‐of‐the‐art, empirically, theoretically, and methodologically. This editorial briefly presents the topic and summarizes the different articles published in the issue.
  • Immigrant Children’s Connections to People and the World Around Them: A Critical Discourse Review of Academic Literature

    Anita Borch (Cogitatio, 2022-10-01)
    A primary goal of the welfare state is to ensure that children and young people have a good upbringing and that families feel secure. However, several studies indicate that the risk of marginalisation and social exclusion increases, especially among children of low‐income and immigrant families. Why some children seem to be more loosely connected to people and the world around them is poorly understood. Based on a Foucauldian critical discourse review, this article aims to explore the most cited academic discourses on children’s connections to the social and material environment—typically referred to by terms such as “social inclusion,” “social participation,” “social integration,” and “social exclusion.” The main research questions are: What has been addressed in this literature, by whom, and what are the knowledge gaps? Some of the most important observations are that the most influential literature on children’s connections is typically written by psychologists, address children settled in the US, and tends to neglect important explanation factors, such as the material conditions of children’s everyday life. Implications for the (re)production of knowledge and knowledge gaps are discussed.
  • Economic Abuse From Child and Youth Perspectives: A Review of the Literature

    Linnéa Bruno (Cogitatio, 2022-10-01)
    Research has established that the economic hardship caused by intimate partner violence (IPV), including economic abuse, is an important obstacle impeding women from leaving a violent partner. Furthermore, economic violence typically continues post‐separation, also when other forms of abuse have ended. IPV—typically, men’s violence against women—is an issue of direct concern for children, even if the violent behaviour is not directed towards the child. A growing body of research has documented detrimental effects on children’s health, well‐being, and cognitive development when exposed to IPV/domestic abuse. In recent decades, research has also explored children’s perspectives and strategies to cope with being exposed to violence in families. Economic abuse, however, is a form of violence that is seldom studied from a child’s perspective. This article aims to explore existing knowledge on economic abuse from child and youth perspectives, drawing from childhood studies, interdisciplinary violence studies, critical social work, and social policy studies. The research review is divided as follows: (a) findings on children’s direct and indirect victimisation of economic abuse; (b) findings on economic abuse in young people’s intimate relationships and the context of honour‐related violence; and (c) findings on economic abuse concerning parenting, with discussions on possible implications for dependent children. Suggestions for further research are put forward.
  • Exploring Children’s Views and Experiences in the Frontline of Poverty in Catalonia: A Qualitative and Participatory Approach

    Laia Narciso; Silvia Carrasco; Gabriela Poblet (Cogitatio, 2022-10-01)
    One in three children and adolescents is currently living in poverty in Catalonia. Most specialised research has been concerned with assessing and questioning current legal frameworks and policies to combat child poverty mainly through quantitative approaches. However, these approaches neglect the specific experiences, perspectives, and visions of children and their potential to provide important clues for the design and evaluation of policies to eradicate poverty. It is also uncommon to include the experiences and views of social intervention staff who often work in situations of extreme budgetary reductions with remedial—not transformative—models. The article presents some findings from a qualitative study commissioned by UNICEF to explore this double experience from the point of view of its protagonists on the front line, drawing on fieldwork carried out before the Covid‐19 pandemic that aggravated the living conditions of the most vulnerable sectors of society. The results show a shared perception of the impact of material deprivation in all spheres of life, but also diversity in coping perspectives and understanding of the structural factors that cause inequality and poverty, as well as the possible responses to overcome them. They also reveal the need to further explore child poverty as a gendered experience.
  • Court Cases on Poor Children’s Access to Normalcy

    Elisabet Näsman; Stina Fernqvist (Cogitatio, 2022-10-01)
    Poverty in childhood is associated with an increased risk of being marginalised and socially excluded, which is also the case in the Swedish welfare state. Poor parents often strive for their children to fit in among same‐aged children, which is difficult for the poorest to accomplish. As the last resort for the poor, the welfare state offers the opportunity to apply for financial aid, but applications may be rejected. Parents can then appeal the rejections to an administrative court. In these decisions, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child could be applied or referred to. The convention has been incorporated into Swedish law since 2020. This article is grounded in childhood sociology and aims to show how poor children, their needs, and rights are processed in the legal system, which sets the framework for the children’s access to material conditions needed for inclusion in a welfare state such as Sweden. The presentation is based on a qualitative content analysis of administrative court records concerning financial aid appeals. The results show that the appeal process confirms the adult orientation of financial aid and that a child rights perspective is, with few exceptions, missing in these records. When children are mentioned, a care perspective dominates and their right to participation is neglected.
  • Education Aspirations and Barriers to Achievement for Street‐Involved Youth in Victoria, Canada

    Laura Vetrone; Cecilia Benoit; Doug Magnuson; Sven Mikael Jansson; Priscilla Healey; Michaela Smith (Cogitatio, 2022-10-01)
    Much of the literature on street‐involved youth focuses on their deficits, including their high risk of withdrawing before completing high school, which is often interpreted as a rejection of formal education. Missing from the literature is an understanding of street‐involved youth’s educational aspirations. We employed thematic analysis of qualitative data from in‐person interviews with a purposive sample of street‐involved youth (N = 69) residing in one city in Canada, who were partly or fully disengaged from school at the time of the interview. We asked the youth to talk about their opinions of formal education, its importance for young people, whether learning was important for them, and whether they imagined returning to school/continuing with school. We discovered that the majority of youth had a positive view of school/formal education and stated they liked learning new things and recognized the benefits of continuing/completing their education. At the same time, the youth identified material hardship and other barriers to achieving their educational goals. We discuss these findings in light of the relevant literature and make policy recommendations to improve educational success for youth struggling with poverty and homelessness in Canada.
  • New Approaches to the Study of Social Inclusion of Poor Children and Youth: A Commentary

    Mari Rysst (Cogitatio, 2022-10-01)
    This thematic issue addresses one of the most important social and political challenges worldwide: The social inclusion of poor children and youth. In addressing it in this commentary I will have Europe as the regional context and Norway as the national one, although the methodological perspectives I bring forth have relevance beyond Europe.
  • Characteristics of Jetters and Little Boxes: An Extensibility Study Using the Neighborhood Connectivity Survey

    Xiaofan Liang; Seolha Lee; Hanzhou Chen; Benjamin de la Peña; Clio Andris (Cogitatio, 2022-09-01)
    Individuals connect to sets of places through travel, migration, telecommunications, and social interactions. This set of multiplex network connections comprises an individual’s “extensibility,” a human geography term that qualifies one’s geographic reach as locally‐focused or globally extensible. Here we ask: Are there clear signals of global vs. local extensibility? If so, what demographic and social life factors correlate with each type of pattern? To answer these questions, we use data from the Neighborhood Connectivity Survey conducted in Akron, Ohio, State College, Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (global sample N = 950; in model n = 903). Based on the location of a variety of connections (travel, phone call patterns, locations of family, migration, etc.), we found that individuals fell into one of four different typologies: (a) hyperlocal, (b) metropolitan, (c) mixed‐many, and (d) regional‐few. We tested whether individuals in each typology had different levels of local social support and different sociodemographic characteristics. We found that respondents who are white, married, and have higher educational attainment are significantly associated with more connections to a wider variety of places (more global connections), while respondents who are Black/African American, single, and with a high school level educational attainment (or lower) have more local social and spatial ties. Accordingly, the “urban poor” may be limited in their ability to interact with a variety of places (yielding a wide set of geographic experiences and influences), suggesting that wide extensibility may be a mark of privileged circumstances and heightened agency.
  • “Whom Should I Talk To?”: Role Prescription and Hierarchy Building in Supervised Living Groups

    Daniel Schubert; Alexander Brand (Cogitatio, 2022-09-01)
    Adolescent asylum seekers have been an independent, yet understudied group in the German Youth welfare service since 2016. Due to the separation from their familiar surroundings, young people must establish new connections with their peers in supervised living groups. However, little is known about this special group in the youth welfare system as there are only a few studies covering the situation of adolescent asylum seekers in residential groups. In our study, we apply a mixed‐methods approach to analyse the self‐understanding of adolescent asylum seekers, social comparisons between the perceived own group and outside group and link them with data on the emergence of friendship ties among adolescent asylum seekers. Analytically, we describe institutional factors and narratives (qualitative focus) and access structural mechanisms (demographics, network organization principles) via network regression models (quantitative focus). Our results indicate a strong influence of a high level of upstreamness in the network in the tie creation and less influence from factors like age and religion. Following this, our study provides first indications about patterns of connection and separation in this niche group.
  • “We Don’t Meet [Any]where Else, Just Here”: Spatiality of Social Capital in Urban Allotments

    Megan L. Resler; Isabel Ramos Lobato; Seona Candy (Cogitatio, 2022-09-01)
    Unlike many other types of urban micro‐publics, allotment gardens provide a spatial opportunity for everyday social contact and encounters between heterogeneous user groups who share a common interest. While these micro‐publics have an evidenced capacity for generating social capital, scholars have questioned the extent to which social capital accessed within the allotment garden transcends its physical boundary—and thus the relevance of the micro‐public for social integration by fostering resource transfers between socially‐distant members of the population. In this article, we investigate for whom and to what extent social ties and resources accessed within the garden extend beyond its physical boundary and into other domains of urban life (i.e., scaling resource transfers) in Vantaa, the most multicultural city in Finland. Utilizing a mixed‐methods approach, we integrated crisp‐set qualitative comparative analysis and thematic analysis to explore which configurations of gardener characteristics relate to different resource transfers. We found that although new contacts—including boundary‐crossing contacts—were formed within the micro‐public, they evidenced little potential for scaling resource transfers across social difference, and in some cases even sparked intergroup tensions. These findings illustrate that despite the common interest shared by individuals within this micro‐public, contact between different groups alone is not necessarily sufficient to foster positive social encounters, scaling or otherwise. To improve scaling resource transfers and, more broadly, deepen social connections formed within the micro‐public network, facilitated intercultural dialogue by relevant institutions is needed.
  • On the Role of Space, Place, and Social Networks in Social Participation

    Gil Viry; Christoph van Dülmen; Marion Maisonobe; Andreas Klärner (Cogitatio, 2022-09-01)
    Recent literature recognises the importance of situating social networks in spatial contexts to better understand how space, place, and social networks interact and are co‐constituted. Despite this call, the mainstream literature in social network analysis pays relatively little attention to spatial dimensions of social networks and remains largely disconnected from the vast body of research on spatial networks in geography and cognate fields. This thematic issue is one step towards advancing this research agenda by examining how such an approach relates to issues of social inclusion and social participation. It includes a selection of studies that focus on the relation between space and social networks across a wide variety of research fields and contexts. Contributions use original, often mixed‐method approaches and multiple perspectives for capturing the role of space and people’s experience of place in network formation through physical, cultural, and geographical dimensions. We conclude this editorial by briefly suggesting areas for future research.
  • Space and Interaction in Civil Society Organizations: An Exploratory Study in a US City

    Matthew Baggetta; Brad R. Fulton; Zoe Caplan (Cogitatio, 2022-09-01)
    Civil society organizations (CSOs) are sites for creating and strengthening social ties among participants. Ties are developed when participants in CSO convenings (meetings, events, activities) interact, but convenings vary in the amount of interaction they generate. Theory and research suggest that the physical spaces where convenings occur may impact participant interaction. However, previous methods lack sufficient scale to formally test related hypotheses. We introduce a method for collecting data at scale to examine how CSO convening spaces influence social interaction. The method—systematic social observation (SSO)—assembles comparable, quantitative data from many CSO convenings. As part of an exploratory study, we collected data from 99 CSO convenings from three organizations in Indianapolis, Indiana. For illustrative purposes, building on theories of spatial propinquity and configuration, we highlight two dimensions of spatial variation in CSO convenings—footprint and permeability—and examine how they relate to three indicators of participant interaction. Our findings suggest that controlling for the number of participants and other convening characteristics, medium‐sized spaces foster more interaction than small or large ones. More broadly, this study demonstrates the viability of the SSO method for collecting data at scale and provides a model for future work on space, interaction, and networks.
  • Analysing Personal Networks in Geographical Space Beyond the Question of Distance

    Claire Bidart; Marion Maisonobe; Gil Viry (Cogitatio, 2022-09-01)
    Recent literature recognises the importance of situating social networks in spatial context. Yet, the spatial analysis of personal networks has often been limited to examining residential distances between actors. While distance is a central characteristic of social relationships, it is a poor indicator for understanding the intricacies of the geographical space, places and personal networks. This study develops an original approach for mapping and analysing personal networks based on their geographical scope and the distribution of the residential locations of network members in relevant geographical areas. We perform a factor and cluster analysis to identify the major geographical patterns of personal networks using two samples of egocentric networks from France and Switzerland. We validate the approach first by interpreting the patterns both quantitatively and qualitatively, and second by examining how these patterns relate to important social characteristics of respondents and their personal networks. We conclude by discussing the significance of this approach for integrating geographical information into the analysis of personal networks and for rethinking networks and the geographical space as co‐constituted.
  • Places That Bond and Bind: On the Interplay of Space, Places, and Social Networks

    Christoph van Dülmen; Andreas Klärner (Cogitatio, 2022-09-01)
    Social networks of socially disadvantaged individuals can help them in coping with everyday life and avoiding social exclusion. At the same time, social ties also have the power to bind an individual to their disadvantageous situation, perpetuating the risks of social exclusion. One mechanism through which ties can be established are “foci”: extra‐network structures around which common interactions occur (e.g., family, workplace, clubs) that usually have spatial anchor points (places) where joint interactions happen. To better understand this interplay of places and networks, we use a methodological novelty that connects a person’s everyday places with their ego‐centred network (two‐mode network). We analyse in depth two cases (elderly women living alone) from a mixed‐methods study conducted in rural peripheries in eastern Germany, and we combine data from GPS tracking, qualitative interviews, and egocentric networks. A central finding of our analysis is that tie formation in places is more successful if ego has certain resources (e.g., cultural, financial, or time resources) that allow them to utilise places as foci—hence, ego and places must “match” in their characteristics. Beyond that, the existing foci (and their spatial anchoring as places in everyday life) in which ego is integrated must be considered as structures. Even if a person has enough resources and easy access to places with characteristics that promote contact, this does not automatically mean that they will form ties in such places, as the person’s network plays a major role in whether they frequent these places and establish new ties there.
  • The Power of Places in Building Cultural and Arts Education Networks and Cooperation in Rural Areas

    Thi Huyen Trang Le; Nina Kolleck (Cogitatio, 2022-09-01)
    Volunteering plays a central role in cultural and arts education in rural areas in Germany. However, a decrease in the number of volunteers in structurally weak regions can be observed in recent years. This poses existential challenges for cultural and arts education. The promotion of social networks and regional cooperation, as well as a sense of place, can counteract this decline. This article aims to explore how sense of place influence cooperation and thus social networks between actors of different institutions in the context of cultural and arts education in rural areas. A total of 34 interviews and egocentric network maps were conducted with different local actors (e.g., volunteers in the theatre association, mayors, etc.) in four municipalities. The data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Our results show that, through active participation in cultural events and associations, new cooperation is created and maintained, which also expands the social network. This active participation can be positively influenced by the existing attachment to the region and cultural places.
  • The Role of Spatial Context in Shaping Adolescents’ Peer Relationships

    Mats Beckmann; Katharina Knüttel; Sören Petermann; Till Stefes (Cogitatio, 2022-09-01)
    This article explores the role of neighbourhoods as a spatial context for peer relationships among adolescents. We examine the correlations between neighbourhood composition and places suitable for young people for friendship intimacy and peer belonging. We hypothesise that favourable demographic and social neighbourhood compositions, knowledge, and use of places suitable for young people, as well as the spatial appropriation of such places, promote peer relationships. The present study carries out empirical testing of the spatial hypotheses with survey data from adolescents (N = 3225) in two German cities with 30 neighbourhoods. Our results show that neighbourhood composition is not related to peer relationships. Nevertheless, knowledge of safe places suitable for adolescents, as well as the appropriation of unsupervised (hang out) places, correlate with peer relationships. Interestingly, there are divergent results for 7th and 9th graders that can be explained by the developmental stages of the adolescents.
  • Fragile Pronatalism and Reproductive Futures in European Post‐Socialist Contexts

    Ivett Szalma; Hana Hašková; Livia Oláh; Judit Takács (Cogitatio, 2022-08-01)
    This editorial seeks to define fragile pronatalism by highlighting why pronatalism in the examined Central and Eastern European post‐socialist countries should be considered fragile. Moreover, it aims to map desirable future changes in fertility policies in the region. Following a brief presentation of the articles contained in this thematic issue, our concluding thoughts complete this editorial.
  • Growing Childlessness and One‐Child Families in Slovakia in the Shadow of Fragile Pronatalism

    Branislav Šprocha (Cogitatio, 2022-08-01)
    The model of very low childlessness and the low prevalence of one‐child families was once important for Slovak society. The collapse of the Communist regime, however, led to many changes in reproductive behaviour. This article aims to analyse the development of cohort childlessness and the prevalence of one‐child families in Slovakia. Possible scenarios of childlessness and one‐child families are presented. The article tries to place the obtained results within a broader framework of social and gender inequalities, existing barriers to parenthood, and family policy settings in Slovakia. The results confirm that the onset of the postponement process, combined with limited recuperation, especially of second and further children among women born since the second half of the 1960s, has brought a quite substantial increase in the proportion of childless and “one‐child” women. The persistence of some social and gender differences and obstacles in reconciling work and family, which has only recently seen a response from family policy in Slovakia, was confirmed; however, the impact of these new tools on reproduction appears to be obscure.
  • Climate Change Concerns and the Ideal Number of Children: A Comparative Analysis of the V4 Countries

    Borbála Júlia Szczuka (Cogitatio, 2022-08-01)
    The Visegrád countries (Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia) faced a sharp decline in fertility rates after the regime change in 1989. Since then, total fertility rates have largely remained below the EU average, although they have increased during the past decade. Family policies (support for the parental caregivingmodel) and the conditions of women’s employment might be shaping these trends. Besides the pronatalist rhetoric, there is another reason why people might alter their fertility plans: climate change‐related worries. Our analysis in this article examines whether such concerns exist in these four countries, pointing out that the efficacy of pronatalist measures depends on the widespread adoption of such attitudes among young people of childbearing age. Pronatalist pressure is strong in the V4 countries but may be diluted by strengthening environmentalist norms. Scholarship about the relationship between climate change‐related concerns and fertility in these pronatalist countries is scarce. I examine this potential relationship by analysing respondents’ ideas about the generally and personally ideal number of children using Eurobarometer data from 2011 through logistic regression analysis. The results are contradictory: Climate change concerns seem to be positively associated with a smaller ideal family size in Hungary, but only from a general perspective (i.e., not for respondents personally). A positive relationship can be found in the Czech Republic regarding climate concerns and personal ideal family size. In Slovakia, a strong negative association was observed between climate change‐related concerns and smaller general and personal ideal family sizes.

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