Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Editorial | Open Access

Understanding Social Inclusion in Contemporary Society: Challenges, Reflections, Limitations, and Proposals

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Abstract:  In 2015, the UN approved the 2030 agenda on sustainable development, intending to bridge—and eventually close—the gaps that divide our societies. These 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) are presented as a master plan that covers the most painful global challenges to a knowledgeable and inclusive society. In this thematic issue we look more incisively into goals no. 1 (no poverty), no. 4 (quality of education and inclusive education), no. 10 (reduced inequalities), and no. 11 (sustainable cities and communities) of the agenda. Social inequalities have drastically intensified after the 2008 financial crisis and the period of austerity that followed, especially among the poorest people and in the most vulnerable communities. Nowadays particularly, with the Covid‐19 pandemic, these gaps seem to be growing. Against this background, this thematic issue aims to capture, make visible, understand, and analyze how social actors are organizing themselves and collaborating amongst each other in order to help attenuate and satisfy dramatic emerging social needs and improve living conditions, especially among the most vulnerable social groups, in uncertain times of crisis. We focus particularly on two main thematic blocks: social inclusion axes on the one hand (formal, non‐formal, and informal education, participation, leisure time, and culture) and vulnerable groups on the other (including children, adolescents, youth, women, the elderly, people with disabilities, and migrants). Contributions to this thematic issue offer interesting conceptual, methodological, and empirical approaches to the study of social inclusion and social inclusive experiences in contemporary societies in uncertain times, particularly in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Brazil.

Keywords:  adolescents; children; Covid‐19; educational inclusion; participation; social inclusion; sustainable development goals; youth participation



© Ana Belén Cano-Hila. 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.