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International Seminar:

 "Personal networks in times of economic hardship and political discontent"

Barcelona, Spain | July 11-13, 2011

Organized by the Personal Networks Laboratory (egolab-GRAFO),

Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Spain

Submission deadline: May 1, 2012


Confirmed keynote speakers:

Christopher McCarty, Director of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research and Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Florida, US

The Network Scale-Up Method (NSUM): Past, Present and Future


Markku Lonkila, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Finland

The Role of Personal Networks and Social Media in Mobilizing Russian Opposition Protests.


The Autonomous University of Barcelona organizes for the second year the International Seminar on Personal Networks, this time with the theme "Personal networks in times of economic hardship and political discontent". In light of the financial crisis, we intend to focus on the instrumental dimensions of personal networks for individuals and communities. More specifically, we wish to discuss to what extent individuals can mobilize economic resources via their personal networks, or social resources in response to economic needs. In addition, we wish to address the question how personal networks are used to mobilize collective action such as protest. Scholars working in these areas are warmly invited to present their research in the seminar. We are particularly interested in contributions that do not only demonstrate that resources or collective action are mobilized via personal networks, but that also pay attention to the underlying mechanisms, the conditions under which it occ urs (or does not occur), and alternative explanations such as different distributions of network resources among social groups. Both quantitative and qualitative contributions are welcome.

Some of the potential topics are:
-  The use of network contacts for getting hired or promoted in a job
-  The use of informal network connections for sustaining small and medium enterprises
-  Effects of mixed embeddedness of ethnic entrepreneurs / ethnic enclaves
-  The role of personal networks in the decision to move abroad to improve job prospects
-  The role of personal networks in coping with poverty
-  Effects of the financial crisis on the social capital available through personal networks
-  Comparison of properties of personal networks of the employed and unemployed
-  The mobilization of citizens through personal networks for political protest
-  The role of social media in the spontaneous organization of civic demonstrations or protest
-  Institutional, organizational and/or network constraints on the mobilization of resources through personal networks

The seminar will take place in continuation of the summer course "The measurement of personal networks" (July 9-13), which is also organized by the research group egolab-GRAFO (www.egolab.cat, see for the contents of the course http://grupsderecerca.uab.cat/egolab/content/summer-course ). 



Researchers interested in participating in the seminar are invited to submit a title and an abstract of max. one page before the 1st of May to [log in to unmask]. Authors will be notified of acceptance by the 15th of May.  Enquiries about the seminar can also be sent to this address, [log in to unmask].

The participation fee is §90, payable by bank transfer before the 20th of June, 2012. The fee covers two lunches and one dinner, coffee and tea served at the breaks, a name badge and a conference program.

Seminar website:

Please check the seminar website for the submission procedure and further details: http://tinyurl.com/79pxqal


Important dates:

-         Abstract submission deadline: May 1, 2012

-         Notification of decisions: May 15, 2012

-         Finalization of the program:  June 1, 2012

-         Registration deadline: June 20, 2012

-         International Seminar: July 11-13, 2012


Organizing committee:

Miranda Lubbers, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain
Josť Luis Molina, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

Additional scientific consultants:

Filip Agneessens, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Wenhong Chen, University of Texas at Austin, US

Mario Diani, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
Isidro Maya Jariego, University of Sevilla, Spain
Joan Miquel Verd, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain





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