News archive

July 2020: I have been interviewed by Ana Hernando of SINC about the ERC project

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July 2020: We have been awarded a Volkswagen Stiftung grant for the four-year international project Inclusivity Norms to Counter Polarization in European Societies (INCLUSIVITY). PIs: Maarten van Zalk (Osnabrück University), Eva Jaspers (Utrecht University), Oliver Christ (Hagen University), Miranda Lubbers (UAB), Marcin Bukwoski (University of Krakow). See for an abstract here.

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April 2020: I have been awarded the ERC Advanced Grant! My project, A Network Science Approach to Social Cohesion in European Societies (PATCHWORK), will start in the fall.

Abstract: As European societies are becoming increasingly unequal, diverse, and polarised, concerns about their cohesion are growing. In this light, it is surprising that social cohesion research has almost entirely ignored one of its core dimensions: relationships. Broad acquaintanceship networks, which connect each individual to hundreds of others through both intimate and superficial relationships, have long been assumed to bind societies together and provide a sense of community and solidarity. Nonetheless, they have hardly been studied empirically due to the technical complexity that the comprehensive study of society-wide networks involves. This project will develop a ground-breaking, network-scientific approach to social cohesion. After designing a theoretical framework for the structural cohesion of societies, it develops a new methodology to study structural cohesion empirically, hybridising two strands of network research in an unprecedented way. The methodology will be implemented in a large-scale, cross-national European survey administered to representative samples of the populations. The survey estimates are used to simulate society-wide networks, to explore resulting macro-level structures. These macro-level structures are then used to specify agent-based models to study in more depth how broad acquaintanceship networks influence subjective manifestations of cohesion. For the first time, we will know how cohesive broad acquaintanceship networks are across categorical fault lines of citizenship, social class, religion, and political orientation for five societies, how real-life inter- and intragroup relationships cluster to form network constellations that expose individuals in unique ways to other social groups, and how these constellations shape subjective manifestations of cohesion such as tolerance, trust, and acceptance of diversity.

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April 2021: Together with Hugo Valenzuela and José Luis Molina, I have given the course "Relational vulnerability" at the XII Spring School of the international charity organization Cáritas, with three afternoon sessions on the 13th, 14th, and 21st of April.


March 2020: We won the AIBR Best Article Award in Iberoamerican Anthropology for the paper “Él es emprendedor, pero yo no; yo soy autónomo”: Autorrepresentación y subsistencia de los neocampesinos en Cataluña" (with Paula Escribano, Agata Hummel & José Luis Molina)


January 2021: I am one of the happy winners of the highly competitive ICREA Acadèmia fellowship for excellence in research (in the humanities), a fellowship meant to help university professors in a phase of expansion intensify their research by substantively lowering their teaching duties and subsidizing them.


Upcoming: Call for abstracts for the special issue I am editing, "In good company? Personal Relationships, Network Embeddedness and Social Inclusion", at the journal Social Inclusion, Vol. 9, Issue 4. The journal is indexed in the Journal Citation Reports Q2. Full papers due on May 1.

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Volume 9, Issue 4
In Good Company? Personal Relationships, Network Embeddedness and Social Inclusion

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

Submission of 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 social support theories (Berkman & Glass, 2000; Cohen, Underwood, & Gottlieb, 2000; Taylor, 2011; van Tilburg, 1994) and social capital (Coleman, 1988; Lin, 1999). For instance, Kahn and Antonucci (1980) 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 different types of marginalized populations, such as undocumented migrants (del Real, 2019) and poor mothers (Lavee, 2016; Levine, 2013). This exposes them to further risks.

It is, therefore, timely to reconsider the role that personal networks play in social inclusion and exclusion processes 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 (migration, poverty, etc.). The comparison across such areas helps us detect transversally emerging network mechanisms.

The proposed guest editor is one of the authors of the recently published book Conducting Personal Network Research: A Practical Guide (2019, Guilford Press). She has studied how personal networks function and evolve, what norms and values regulate the exchanges in networks, and she has applied this perspective to the study of the incorporation of immigrants and people experiencing income poverty.

See for references the Call for abstracts


Upcoming: Seminar in the lecture series at the Institute for Analytical Sociology in Linköping, "Segregation in extended social networks: The benefits and disadvantages of using the Network Scale-Up Method in research", December 3, 2020. 


November 2020: We won the Journal of Organizational Ethnography´s Literati Award for Outstanding Paper 2020 for our paper "Charities as symbolic families" (with Jordi Grau, Paula Escribano, and Hugo Valenzuela)!

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October 2020: I was interviewed by Francisca Ortiz of the Mitchell Center for Social Network Analysis (University of Manchester), for the podcast about social network analysis "Tejiendo redes / Knitting networks" (organizers Francisca Ortiz and Alejandro Espinosa-Rada). Lista redes quoted on Twitter "Without weak ties, society would disintegrate". See their website for other chapters.

 

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September 2020: Public keynote speech in the conference "Content meets Structure: Integrating Different Perspectives on Social Networks" (September 28-30, Heidelberg), organized by Dr. Lydia Repke (Gesis / the Leibniz_Institut für Sozialwissenschaft) and sponsored by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The video is on the GESIS Youtube channel.

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July 2020: New article published: Lubbers, M. J., Molina, J. L., & McCarty, C. (accepted). How do migrants’ processes of social embedding unfold over time? Online first in Global Networks. https://doi.org/10.1111/glob.12297

globnetw_cover.png Abstract: In this article, we investigate how migrants’ processes of social (dis‐) embedding in local and transnational contexts unfold over time and illustrate their driving forces. Drawing on unique longitudinal, mixed‐methods social network data of 77 transnational migrants in Barcelona, Spain, we were able to capture changes in social relationships at a micro‐level. We found that migrant embedding is far from a linear process. In many regards, the observed network dynamics are similar to those the literature observed for non‐migrants; for example, the more substantial changes were typically caused by life events. We also found that migrants’ opportunities to form new relationships with natives depended on their positions within their places of residence, which were structured by gender, race, and class. These results call into question assumptions of individual agency in integration and assimilation debates. Furthermore, they call for a greater presence of temporality and life course scholarship in research into migrants’ networks.

July 2020: Our book, based on the project "Vivo entre cuatro paredes: La vulnerabilidad relacional en contextos de exclusión social" (Hugo Valenzuela García, Miranda Lubbers & José Luis Molina González) is now out at the Colección de Estudios de la Fundación Foessa:  https://www.caritas.es/producto/vivoentrecuatroparedes/ Obra Premiada with the FOESSA Award.

Resumen: El análisis de los principales ámbitos relacionales (familia, amigos, instituciones y trabajo) y del tipo de interacción de los diversos actores (usuarios, técnicos, voluntarios, etc.) posibilita extraer una serie de conclusiones sobre las características de sus redes sociales y el papel de las instituciones de acción social en la promoción de la inclusión social de esas personas. Estas conclusiones desean ponerse al servicio de la mejora de esas instituciones tan trascendentales, particularmente en un momento en el que ni el estado de bienestar ni el mundo del trabajo pueden garantizar la inclusión de las personas más vulnerables.

Referencia: Valenzuela, H., Lubbers, M. J., & Molina, J. L. (2020). Vivo entre cuatro paredes: La vulnerabilidad relacional en contextos de exclusión social. Madrid: Colección Estudios de Foessa.


July 2020: Participation as speaker in the "Workshop Social network methods in migration studies: recent developments and challenges", IMISCOE 2020 conference, July 1st. The workshop was organized by Basak Bilecen (University of Groningen) and Raffaele Vacca (University of Florida). Participants were: Participants: Ashton Verdery (Pennsylvania State University, USA), Giacomo Solano (Migration Policy Group, Brussels), Gülcan Önel (University of Florida, USA), Janine Dahinden (University of Neuchâtel), José Luis Molina (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain), Louise Ryan (University of Sheffield, UK), Miranda Lubbers (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain), Renata Hosnedlova (Sciences Po Toulouse, France), Tolga Tezcan (California State University, USA), and Tommaso Vitale (Sciences Po Paris, France)


May 2020: New project! We will develop the project, “Community dimensions, personal networks and social exclusion” (Spanish Ministry of Science, Education and Universities) between 2020 and 2024. PIs: Hugo Valenzuela & Miranda Lubbers.

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Source: Photo by United Nations COVID-19 Response on Unsplash


May 2020: Seminar at the Mitchell Center for Social Network Analysis, University of Manchester, "Social support mobilization in poverty", 13/5/2020.


May 2020: Our special issue "Do networks help people to manage poverty? Perspectives from the field" (Guest editors Miranda Lubbers, Hugo Valenzuela, and Mario L. Small)  has been published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. The introduction summarizes five decades of research on the connection between networks and poverty (Lubbers, Small & Valenzuela). We also have an empirical article published in this special issue, stemming from the RecerCaixa research: "Relationships stretched thin: Social support mobilization in poverty".

Issues Abstract: People’s ability to manage the difficulties of poverty depends on their networks---on their relationships with family, friends, acquaintances, and others in their lives, and the support, information, services, and other goods they can get from those relations. But such relationships also come with obligations, and how much the networks ultimately help vs hinder those with limited resources remains unclear. This volume examines that question based on new fieldwork by network researchers on low-income populations in not only the U.S. but also the U.K., Spain, Mexico, Germany, and Turkey. The papers introduce fresh evidence on how people use networks to cope with poverty in the 21st century and new theoretical perspectives that point to the importance of local organizations, the changing nature of reciprocal obligations, and the compounding effects of multiple forms of disadvantage.

March 2020: Interview for International Women´s Day at La Vanguardia

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January, 2020: New project! "A network science approach to social cohesion" (Bridges) was selected as the first of 524 proposals at La Caixa Social Research Call. The project will be developed by Miranda Lubbers (PI) and her team members between 2020 and 2022. 

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Source: Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash


December 2019: New article published in the journal Human Nature, in collaboration with Sandrine Gallois, Barry Hewlett, and Victoria Reyes, "Social Networks and Knowledge Transmission Strategies among Baka Children, Southeastern Cameroon". Open Access. 

Abstract: The dynamics of knowledge transmission and acquisition, or how different aspects of culture are passed from one individual to another and how they are acquired and embodied by individuals, are central to understanding cultural evolution. In small-scale societies, cultural knowledge is largely acquired early in life through observation, imitation, and other forms of social learning embedded in daily experiences. However, little is known about the pathways through which such knowledge is transmitted, especially during middle childhood and adolescence. This study presents new empirical data on cultural knowledge transmission during childhood. Data were collected among the Baka, a forager-farmer society in southeastern Cameroon. We conducted structured interviews with children between 5 and 16 years of age (n = 58 children; 177 interviews, with children being interviewed 1–6 times) about group composition during subsistence activities. Children’s groups were generally diverse, although children tended to perform subsistence activities primarily without adults and with same-sex companions. Group composition varied from one subsistence activity to another, which suggests that the flow of knowledge might also vary according to the activity performed. Analysis of the social composition of children’s subsistence groups shows that vertical and oblique transmission of subsistence-related knowledge might not be predominant during middle childhood and adolescence. Rather, horizontal transmission appears to be the most common knowledge transmission strategy used by Baka children during middle childhood and adolescence, highlighting the importance of other children in the transmission of knowledge.

November 13th, 2019: Our dissemination article "Cuántos conocidos tenemos?" has been published at the Observatorio la Caixa (with Xavier Aguilar, and with the help of Guillem Zaragoza and Andrea Pelayo). Following publication, it has received large press attention, among others at 20 MinutosAntena 3El Mundo, La Vanguardia, Heraldo, La RazónAra.cat, El Plural, El Diario.esLa Sexta, ABC Sociedad, Solidaridad Digital, Diario QuéThe World News, NIUS DiarioEl Diario de Navarra, El Diario de Pontevedra, Digital Extremadura, La Voz de Cadiz, El Progreso, and Las Provincias. Miranda has also been interviewed by Telecinco and Televisión Española (13/11/2019), and appeared in the radio programs Aragon Radio (14/11), Radio Autonómico Canarias (15/11) and Julia en la Onda (18/11).

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November 4, 2019: I've participated in the Workshop "Meso-level Dynamics in a Life Course Perspective. Social Networks through the Lifetime", organized by Dr. Mattia Vacchiano and Dr. Dario Spini, 4th of November 2019, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. I presented "Personal Networks and Social Inclusion over the Life Course." Other presenters were Dr. Mattia Vacchiano, Dr. Dario Spini, Dr. Emmanuel Lazega, Dr. Betina Hollstein, and Dr. Eric Widmer, with whom we discussed how to combine the life course perspective and the social network perspective even more fruitfully. The collaboration will continue in a special issue (currently in preparation).

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Source: Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash


October 30th: New project! An approximation to social cohesion in European societies through network science (Una aproximación a la cohesión social en sociedades europeas desde la ciencia de redes; Spanish Ministry of Education, Europa Investigación 2019; EIN2019-102971). Principal Investigator: Miranda J. Lubbers. 2019-2021.


March, 7-8, 2019: I´ve participated in the Interdisciplinary workshop: How Qualitative Social Network Analysis Can Offer New Opportunities in Migration Research, organized by Dr. Janine Dahinden and Dr. Louise Ryan. 7 – 8 March 2019, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Close to the beautiful lake of Neuchatel,  I presented the paper "Local and transnational embedding processes of migrants: A spatiotemporal network perspective."

Abstract: This paper investigates how migrants’ processes of local and transnational (dis-) embedding unfold over time (post-migration) and what factors weigh in on the direction and depth of these processes. Our study is based on a longitudinal network research, in which 77 transnational migrants residing in the province of Barcelona, Spain, have been followed over time. Results show that embeddedness is far from a linear process. The more substantial network changes are typically produced by life events, such as marriage or divorce. In this regard, migrants’ network dynamics are no different from those observed for non-migrants. Smaller, cyclical events such as visits to the country in the summer holidays or Ramadan, can also temporarily augment individuals’ focus on conational network members. Furthermore, we found that migrants generally adopted two mechanisms to create new local ties, which could however have very different outcomes (embeddedness in the mainstream versus parallel society) depending on structural conditions upon arrival. The results call for a greater presence of life course research in studies into immigrant incorporation and a greater focus on networking processes.

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Source: Own photo.


February 7-8, 2019: We have organized the workshop "Who Cares? Relational Mechanisms Involved in the Day-to-Day Subsistence of Families and Individuals Struggling with Poverty" to discuss the nexus between social relationships and poverty during two days with some of the leading scholars in the field. Invited speakers were Joan Maya Mazelis (Rutgers University), Mario Small (Harvard University), Kayleigh Garthwaite (University of Birmingham), and Mercedes González de la Rocha (CIESAS). Other participants came from the USA, UK, Italy, Australia, The Netherlands, Germany, and Spain. The event took place at the beautiful Torre Vila Puig - Campus of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. The workshop was organized within the framework of the research project Survival strategies of households in poverty: The role of formal and informal support networks in times of economic crisis funded by Recercaixa (2015ACUP 00145) and led by Miranda Lubbers and Hugo Valenzuela (2016-2020).

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Source: Photo by Hugo Valenzuela García.


January 2019: New year, new project"I live between four walls": Relational vulnerability and dignity in the context of the unipersonal help services of the Spanish charitable institutions (Fundación FOESSA, 2019).


December 2018: New article: Lubbers, M. J., Verdery, A., & Molina, J. L. (2018). Social Networks and Transnational Social Fields: A Review of Quantitative and Mixed-Methods Approaches. International Migration Review, 54(1), 177-204.

imrcover_mini.png Abstract: Scholars of transnationalism have argued that migrants create transnational social fields or spaces that connect their place of origin to destination areas. Despite the centrality that social networks have in defining these concepts, quantitative and mixed-methods social network research is rare in research on transnationalism. However, this situation has changed over the last decade, and the transnational social networks of migrants have been studied with multiple methodologies. So far, this literature has not been systematically evaluated. With the aim of taking stock of this research, we classify the literature into four types of approaches (individual, household, dyad/small set, and community) and review their distinct contributions regarding the functioning of immigrants’ transnational networks, as well as the relative strengths and limitations of each approach. Based on our analysis, we discuss pathways for future investigation.

December 2018: The OQD emits a recognition of good teaching practice for the teaching innovation project we performed in the undergraduate course "Instrumental Resources in Anthropological Research." See also the web about digital resources in anthropological research that we launched (in Spanish). 


September 2018: Call for papers for the two-day workshop "Who cares? Relational mechanisms involved in the day-to-day subsistence of families and individuals struggling with poverty" in Barcelona, February 7-8, 2019. With Dr. Kayleigh Garthwaite, Dr. Joan Maya Mazelis, Dr. Mercedes González de la Rocha, and Professor Mario Small. The workshop is organized within the framework of the research project Survival strategies of households in poverty: The role of formal and informal support networks in times of economic crisis funded by Recercaixa (2015ACUP 00145) and led by Miranda Lubbers and Hugo Valenzuela (2016-2020).

Scope: Inequality is one of the major challenges of our societies. Austerity policies, the withdrawal of the welfare state, and the advancement of neoliberal policies have led to increased income poverty and social exclusion in many countries. According to the academic literature, families and individuals struggling to get by rely on the informal support of relatives, friends, and acquaintances, especially in contexts where public aid has been reduced and charities collapsed by excessive demand. However, the supportive capacity of individuals' personal networks has also been questioned: for example, the poor have been shown to have smaller networks and/or networks with a lower resource potential, and relational dynamics such as stigmatization and the norm of reciprocity may hinder the actual mobilization of support.

In this two-day workshop, we aim to focus on the relational mechanisms involved in the day-to-day subsistence of families and individuals suffering economic hardship, in a causally bidirectional way: On the one hand, how and to what extent do personal relationships provide social support that alleviate situations of poverty, and on the other, how do social support encounters redefine personal relationships? A complete analysis requires not only an understanding of the occurrence of supportive exchanges, but also of the absence of such exchanges, and of negative or harmful relationship dynamics (e.g., distrust, abuse, avoidance) that hinder the provision of support or that generate dependency.

The two-day interdisciplinary workshop will consist of invited addresses and selected paper presentations, with ample room for scholarly discussion. We intend to develop a special issue on the topic in a leading interdisciplinary journal in the social sciences.

For further details: bit.ly/2Qz3zN1


August 2018: New article: Lubbers, M. J., Molina, J. L., & Valenzuela, H. (2019). When Networks Speak Volumes: Variation in the Size of Broader Acquaintanceship NetworksSocial Networks, 59, 55-69.

socialnetworks_cover200.gif Abstract: Personal network researchers have extensively studied the characteristics and effects of individuals’ closest relationships, but they have paid much less attention to broader acquaintanceship networks, despite evidence that weak ties can also provide social support. In this paper, we focus on one aspect of these networks: acquaintanceship volume. We estimate its distributional parameters for a large, representative sample of the general population of Spain, explore its variation across social groups as well as its implications for social support availability. We designed a survey instrument based on the Network Scale-Up Method and implemented it in a national survey in Spain. Our results suggest that Spaniards have approximately 530 acquaintances, with a large inter-individual variation, comparable to the estimates reported for the American population. Acquaintanceship volume varies with gender, age, education, and income. These differences are partially related to the unequal participation of social groups in voluntary associations, confirming the civic value of such associations, and in employment. Even with similar core network size, acquaintanceship volume increases the likelihood of having adequate social support available, suggesting that broader acquaintanceship networks also structure individual outcomes.

July 2018: Sneak peek at our upcoming book "Conducting Personal Network Analysis: A Practical Guide" (Christopher McCarty, Miranda Lubbers, Raffaele Vacca and José Luis Molina), at Guilford Press here

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Abstract: Written at an introductory level, and featuring engaging case examples, this book reviews the theory and practice of personal and egocentric network research. This approach offers powerful tools for capturing the impact of overlapping, changing social relationships, and contexts on individuals' attitudes and behavior. The authors provide solid guidance on the formulation of research questions; research design; data collection, including decisions about survey modes and sampling frames; the measurement of network composition and structure, including the use of name generators; and statistical modeling, from basic regression techniques to more advanced multilevel and dynamic models. Ethical issues in personal network research are addressed. User-friendly features include boxes on major published studies, end-of-chapter suggestions for further reading, and an appendix describing the main software programs used in the field.


June 2018: Sunbelt conference in Utrecht, June 26th - July 1st. 

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Source: Photo by José Luis Molina

At the XXXVIII Sunbelt Conference (Annual Conference of the International Network of Social Network Analysis) in Utrecht, the Netherlands, June 26th - July 1st, 2018, I participated in the panel discussion "Revisiting the measurement of core discussion networks, its theoretical conceptualizations, and measurements," with Bernice Pescosolido (Indiana University, Bloomington) and Beate Volker (Universiteit van Amsterdam) and contributions of Peter V. Marsden (Harvard University) and Mario Small (Harvard University). 

I also presented the paper "If you can´t help, at least don´t hurt: The support networks of individuals in situations of poverty" (Miranda Lubbers, Hugo Valenzuela, Paula Escribano, José Luis Molina) in the session I organized with Başak Bilecen about "Safety Nets of Individuals in Disadvantaged Positions," and organized a series of paper sessions with Mario Small, Beate Volker and José Luis Molina, "Egocentered networks: New questions, research, and applications."


June 2018: Presentation of our paper "Cohort-dependent associations between personal networks, life events and psychological distress" (Miranda Lubbers & Başak Bilecen) at the UCNets Conference on Social Networks - UC Berkeley, June 14th and 15th.

Abstract: The association between social support networks and depression is well-established, but it has usually been investigated for a single age group. In this paper, we compare the protective role that personal support networks play against psychological distress between three age groups: young adolescents (21 to 30 years old), late midlife (50 to 60), and early old age (61 to 70). Drawing on the first wave data collected in the framework of UC Berkeley Social Networks Study (UCNets), we investigate whether the composition of support networks is associated with depression for younger and older age cohorts and whether these associations vary with age. Our results show that the number of life stressors and the characteristics of support networks differ between age groups, but age groups differ only slightly in the mechanisms that associate social support with depression. A longitudinal analysis with later waves of the UCNets project can give a better insight into the causal mechanisms.


June 2018: New paper accepted: Gallois, S., Lubbers, M. J., Duda, R., Hewlett, B., & Reyes, V. (2018). Social networks and knowledge acquisition strategies among Baka children, southeastern Cameroon. Human Nature. 29 (4), 442-463.

Abstract: The dynamics of knowledge transmission and acquisition, or how different aspects of culture are passed from one individual to another and how they are acquired and embodied by individuals, are central to understanding cultural evolution. In small-scale societies, cultural knowledge is largely acquired early in life through observation, imitation, and other forms of social learning embedded in daily experiences. However, little is known about the pathways through which such knowledge is transmitted, especially during middle childhood and adolescence. This study presents new empirical data on cultural knowledge transmission during childhood. Data were collected among the Baka, a forager-farmer society in southeastern Cameroon. We conducted structured interviews with children between 5 and 16 years of age (n = 58 children; 177 interviews, with children being interviewed 1–6 times) about group composition during subsistence activities. Children’s groups were generally diverse, although children tended to perform subsistence activities primarily without adults and with same-sex companions. Group composition varied from one subsistence activity to another, which suggests that the flow of knowledge might also vary according to the activity performed. Analysis of the social composition of children’s subsistence groups shows that vertical and oblique transmission of subsistence-related knowledge might not be predominant during middle childhood and adolescence. Rather, horizontal transmission appears to be the most common knowledge transmission strategy used by Baka children during middle childhood and adolescence, highlighting the importance of other children in transmitting knowledge.


June 2018: The book of the project "The Orthodox Church and the Community Dynamics of Romanian Residents in Catalonia: A Network Analysis" is out, thanks to Angel Belzunegui Eraso. More info here.

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Abstract: This book presents a study on the Romanian Orthodox Church in Catalonia aiming to discover the structure of the communities of Romanian Orthodox believers, the history of their presence in the country, the relationships they establish with the host society, and the perceptions that they have on various aspects related to the integration of migrants in Catalonia. The work is part of a broader research program directed by Dr. Ángel Belzunegui Eraso that focuses on the hypothesis of religious reinforcement in a migrant context, in which different religious minority confessions are present in Catalonia. These confessions develop their activity in a markedly secularized society and in the context of a plural religious market.

Belzunegui Eraso, A. (Dir), De Andrés Cardona, J., Lubbers, M., Mellen Vinagre, T., Pastor Gosálbez, I., & Duenas Cid, D. (2018). L'Església Ortodoxa Romanesa a Catalunya: Estructura de Relacions i comunitat de creients. Tarragona: URV Publicacions.


May 2018: Presentation "Evolution of Personal Networks of Migrants in Spain" (Miranda Lubbers & José Luis Molina) at the workshop "International and Cross-Time Comparisons of Personal Networks" in Toulouse, organised by the Laboratoire d'Excellence "Structuration des mondes sociaux" (SMS), of the Université Fédérale Toulouse-Midi Pyrénées, the Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès and the CNRS Research Group Network Analysis in Social Sciences and Humanities.


March 2018: We performed a teaching innovation project in the undergraduate course "Instrumental Resources in Anthropological Research," in collaboration with the students.

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February 2018: Our special issue in the journal Social Networks is out! "The missing link: Social network analysis in migration and transnationalism," vol. 53, 2018. With Başak Bilecen (Harvard University) and Markus Gamper (University of Cologne).

Abstract: The focus on social networks in migration studies marked a significant departure of understanding. Social networks are not only a mechanism through which the migration process is patterned, but they also have broader implications for migrants and non-migrants alike. Although the network character of migration processes has long been recognized in migration studies, Social Network Analysis has not been applied for a long time. Taking this scholarly omission as a starting point, we seek in this special issue to discuss recent research into social networks and migration that use SNA approaches.


January 2018: With Hugo Valenzuela and James G. Rice (University of Iceland), we are preparing a new special issue in the Journal of Organizational Ethnography about "Ethnographies of Poverty and Marginality in Non-Profit and Charity Associations".


November 2017: Seminar 'Transnational livelihood strategies of Romanians in Spain: An ethnographic and social network study”, November 28th, 16-18h, at the Lecture Series of the Maison d’Analyse des Processus Sociaux (MAPS), Université de Neuchatel, Switzerland. Intro by Janine Dahinden.

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June 2016: Keynote lecture "Ethnography and multilevel networks in the study of migration and transnationalism" (Miranda Lubbers & José Luis Molina) at the Second European Conference for Social Network Analysis, in Paris, June 14-17th, 2016.


May 2016: We are currently preparing two special issues as guest editors, one for Social Networks called "The missing link: The social network approach in studies of migration and transnationalism" (with Basak Bilecen and Markus Gamper) and one for the International Review of Social Research called "Personal Network Analysis" (with Marian-Gabriel Hancean and José Luis Molina).


April 2016: New article: Rodríguez-García, D., Solana Solana, M., & Lubbers, M. J. (2016). Preference and prejudice: Does intermarriage erode negative ethno-racial attitudes between groups in Spain?  Ethnicities, 16 (4), 521-546.


July 2014: We organized the First European Conference on Social Networks, Barcelona, July 1-4, 2014. The program is published on the website.

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February 2014: EASA Seminar "Solidarity, reciprocity, and economy in times of downturn: Understanding and articulating the logics of old and new values in late capitalism." Barcelona, February 4-5, 2014.


November 2013: Meeting of the ECRP "Social influence in Dynamic Networks," at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. November 6-8, 2013 (see program).


September 2013: Keynote speech "The dynamics of the personal networks of immigrants over an 8-year period" at the VII Trierer Summer School on Social Network Analysis, September 24, 2013.


July 2013: We´ve added new functionality to the software EgoNet (multiple name generators, minimum instead of fixed numbers of alters). Download at sourceforge.


 

Campus d'excel·lència internacional U A B