Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Two Sides of the Coin: The Link Between Relational Exclusion and Socioeconomic Exclusion

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Abstract:  Social capital, derived from the individual embeddedness in a net of personal relationships that gives access to a pool of potential resources, is crucial in understanding how some people experience a higher risk of falling into social exclusion. In this article, we related some compositional and structural factors of egocentered networks to various measures on economic deprivation and social exclusion. We considered different explanatory dimensions: ego’s sociodemographic characteristics and ego’s social capital. Social capital was measured both in terms of expressive and instrumental support, and took into account network size, strong ties density, and alters’ average job prestige, differentiating between inherited and achieved capital, a distinction that has deserved little attention so far. We used data from the Spanish General Social Survey 2013 (N = 5,094), a nationally representative database not applied for similar purposes up to the present. Results show how economic deprivation and social exclusion are associated with ascribed and achieved characteristics, both at the micro level (individual) and the meso level (network). At the micro level, women, immigrants, young people, less‐educated people, the unemployed, and those who do not trust others have higher estimated values on the variables with regards to social disadvantage. At the meso level, social exclusion is associated with lower occupational prestige of achieved relationships, fewer contacts for obtaining economic or medical help (but more contacts for childcare) and smaller non‐kin core discussion networks. In a familistic society with a limited welfare system, results help to disentangle the level of dependence people have on their own social resources.

Keywords:  achieved social capital; deprivation; egocentered networks; inherited social capital; Spanish General Social Survey



© Verónica de Miguel-Luken, Livia García-Faroldi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.