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The ANNALS: Our Bimonthly Journal of Research

Do Networks Help People to Manage Poverty? Perspectives from the Field
Special Editors: Miranda J. Lubbers, Hugo Valenzuela García, and Mario Luis Small
Vol. 689, May 2020

Social support networks can provide much-needed emotional, material, and financial help for people living in poverty, yet little is known about how social capital is created and augmented within such networks. Further, these networks can be eroded by sustained poverty, increasing the social exclusion and isolation that poor people already experience in other sectors of their lives.

In the May 2020 volume of The ANNALS, special editors Miranda J. Lubbers, Hugo Valenzuela García, and Mario Luis Small assemble an international group of scholars to examine the role of social networks in the day-to-day subsistence of families and individuals suffering economic hardship and analyze the many, highly complex ways in which networks are related to poverty. The volume presents studies that explore social ties and sharing networks, the organizations that foster them, the conditions that shape them or undermine them, and the ways in which networks are limited when their participants are under continuous or extreme economic pressure. Drawing upon new, fieldwork-based evidence, the volume suggests policies to strengthen and mobilize both the social support networks of vulnerable populations and the welfare systems on which the poor depend.

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Featured Fellow

Alondra Nelson

2019 Ernest W. Burgess Fellow

Alondra Nelson is an acclaimed sociologist, author, and researcher who explores questions of science, technology, and social inequality. She is currently President of the Social Science Research Council, and the Harold F. Linder Chair of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, as well as Visiting Lecturer with the Rank of Professor at Princeton University.

Nelson has published two books, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination (2011) and The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome (2016). She has co-edited two volumes, Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life (2001) and Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History (2012). She is currently preparing a new book on the centrality of science to the practice of governance, in which she explores the Obama administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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