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Call for Papers - Special Issue of Social Inclusion

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 to Thursday, December 31, 2020

Event Details

CALL FOR PAPERS: "In Good Company? Personal Relationships, Network Embeddedness and Social Inclusion" 

Special issue of Social Inclusion (indexed in Q2 of the Journal Citation Reports; Open Access journal)


Social Inclusion, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal indexed in the Web of Science (JCR Q2) and Scopus, welcomes article proposals for its thematic issue "In Good Company? Personal Relationships, Network Embeddedness and Social Inclusion."


Guest Editor: Miranda J. Lubbers (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain)


Deadline for Abstracts: 15-31 December 2020
Submission of Full Papers: 1-15 May 2021
Publication of the Issue: November 2021


This thematic issue aims to focus on the relational dimensions of social inclusion. Personal networks, i.e., the sets of social relationships surrounding individuals (McCarty, Lubbers, Vacca, & Molina, 2019; Perry, Pescosolido, & Borgatti, 2018), give detailed insight into individuals’ participation in the primary and secondary networks of society (Fischer, 1982; Wellman, 1979) and are a source of informal social protection for other areas of life (Bilecen & Barglowski, 2014)


The conceptualization of personal networks as safety nets draws primarily on theories of social support (Berkman & Glass, 2000; Cohen, Underwood, & Gottlieb, 2000; Taylor, 2011; van Tilburg, 1994) and social capital (Coleman, 1988; Lin, 1999). Kahn and Antonucci (1980), for example, described personal networks as “social convoys,” dynamic and multidimensional sets of relationships that accompany people throughout their lives. When confronted with disadvantage or adversity, people tend to draw on family members, friends, and acquaintances for support, which mitigates the stress these events produce and therefore protects wellbeing (Cohen & Wills, 1985; Kawachi & Berkman, 2001). Empirical research has observed how personal networks are mobilized in times of forced and voluntary migration (Bilecen, Gamper, & Lubbers, 2018; Wissink & Mazzucato, 2018), natural disaster (Browne, 2015; Hurlbert, Haines, & Beggs 2000; Jones et al., 2015), mental and physical illness (Perry & Pescosolido, 2012, 2015), poverty (Böhnke, 2008; Stack, 1974), reentry in society after imprisonment (Western, 2018), and widowhood (Guiaux, van Tilburg, & van Groenou, 2007), among others, providing individuals with emotional, material and economic help as well as information and services that can help them cope with disadvantage.


While much of this research focuses on the supportive and inclusive nature of informal relationships, personal networks are not unambiguously benign. First, as relationships are governed by homophily (i.e., the human tendency to associate with similar others; see McPherson, Smith-Lovin, & Cook, 2001), people experiencing disadvantage in life are likely to know a disproportional number of others in equally disadvantaged positions, making it harder to activate support, resulting in cumulative disadvantage (Harknett & Hartnett, 2011; DiMaggio & Garip, 2012). Second, personal relationships can contribute to shame and stigmatization regarding dimensions of exclusion and thus to social withdrawal (Garthwaite, 2015; Offer, 2012; Ray, Grommon, & Rydberg 2016). Third, adversities and/or the mobilization of support may alter relationships and networks, and their protective capacity. When people cannot meet norms of reciprocity (Hansen, 2004; Komter, 1996; Offer, 2012), this induces friction in relationships, ultimately adding another dimension to social exclusion – namely the exclusion from family networks and balanced personal relationships (Lubbers et al., in press). Fourth, the power differentials that can enter relationships when one individual is disadvantaged and the other is not can lead to distrust (Levine, 2013), dangerous dependencies (Lavee, 2016) and even exploitation (del Real, 2019), as scholars have shown for various marginalized populations, such as undocumented migrants (del Real, 2019) and poor mothers (Lavee, 2016; Levine, 2013). Such dependencies expose them to further risks. 


It is therefore timely to reconsider the role that personal networks play in processes of social inclusion and exclusion for different marginalized populations. How beneficial are they? Under which conditions do personal relationships and networks contribute to, versus impede, social inclusion? Which interventions may reinforce the protective capacities of networks? This thematic issue aims to address these questions by bringing together scholars from different research areas (e.g., migration, poverty). The comparison across such areas helps us detect transversally emerging network mechanisms.


You can also find the CfP - with the references- here:

Publishing Policies:


All articles will be free to download by any reader anywhere in the world. To cover its costs, the journal has an article processing charge of EUR 900 per published paper, but this is a cost that we do not wish authors to personally cover. We advise all interested authors to check with their university library if an open access fund is available. Authors affiliated with Cogitatio's Institutional Members do not incur any publication fees. Check whether your institution is a member on the journal’s complete list of members here:

Any questions about the publishing policies can be directed to the journal´s office: (Mariana Pires).


Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors ( and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Social Inclusion is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee). 

Information about the journal’s charges and general instructions is available at

If you have any questions about the special issues, please contact