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Seasonal migration

Refers to non-permanent movements of individuals such as seasonal work as a consequence of seasonality in agriculture or tourism.
(in "Migration")


Sex refers to the biological characteristics which define humans as female or male. These sets of biological characteristics are not mutually exclusive as there are individuals who possess both, but these characteristics tend to differentiate humans as males and females. (INSTRAW 2004)
(in "Gender and Poverty")(in "Gender, Poverty and Employment")

Social capital

Social capital enables actors to secure benefits by virtue of membership in social networks and other social structures. It refers to networks, membership of groups, relationships of trust and reciprocity and to access to wider institutions of society. Initially, this term was used mostly in sociological and political discussions, but it has recently been applied in other fields, and become an influential concept in understanding the modern world.
(in "Development Theories")(in "Migration")

Social capital/resource

Social capital is a category of livelihood assets. It refers to the formal and informal social relationships (or social resources) from which people can draw various opportunities and benefits for the pursuit of their livelihoods.
(in "Livelihood Research Perspective - Assets, Practices, and Wellbeing")

Social institution

Social institution refers to arrangements involving large numbers of people whose behaviour is guided by norms and roles.
(in "Livelihood Research Perspective - Assets, Practices, and Wellbeing")

Social mobility

Change of position within a social defined unit within a given society, usually as a result of education, an expending economy and resulting higher-level income and employment opportunities.
(in "Migration")

Social solidarity

Equality of opportunities for people, involving welfare, quality of life and sustainable human development. Development should liberate individual capacities and human needs, thus ending poverty and improving individuals’ quality of life, offering them a secure life with full rights and liberties in the long term, and social cohesion.
(in "Sustainable Development")


See Developing countries
(in "Describing Poverty")


Sovereignty is the exclusive right to exercise supreme political (e.g. legislative, judicial, and/or executive) authority over a geographic region, a group of people or oneself. Throughout most of the 20th century, nation-states were considered as the main bearers of sovereignty in accordance with the principles of Westphalian sovereignty, which stated that one sovereign state should not interfere in the domestic arrangements of another. Globalisation and growing interdependence challenge these principles.
(in "Globalisation Processes A")

Spatial mobility

Change of position within a spatial defined unit (can be divided into circulation and migration).
(in "Migration")

State violence

State violence is violence towards individuals or groups by the state. It comprises direct physical violence done by state forces such as police or the army, but it can also qualify violence which result of policy choices.
(in "Violence and (In)Security in Urban Space")

Structuralist perspective

In social theory, structures generally refer to enduring relations between entities within a society that contribute to its relative stability (i.e. social stratification, legal system, political organisation, customs etc.). Social theories based on a structuralist perspective usually give a causal explanation of the situation or the phenomena according to structures at a macro-social level (i.e: individual behaviour, a villages wealth or a policy choice will be explained with reference to class, the global economy, international relations, etc.).
(in "Development Theories")


In social theory structuration refers to the processes of mutual influence of structure and agency (generally understood as society and individuals). The term is also strongly linked to the name of British sociologist Anthony Giddens whose theory of structuration is one of the most prominent approaches for analysing these processes.
(in "Theorising Inequality and Change")

Structurationist thinking

Structurationist thinking follows the idea of structuration theory, which refers to the processes of mutual influence of structure and agency in sociological explanations.
(in "Access and Institutional Context")


In social theory, structures generally refer to enduring relations between entities within a society, which contribute to a relative stability of the society (i.e. social stratification, legal system, political organization, customs etc.). In structuration theory, structures are seen as rules and resources framing agency either by constraining it or enabling it. According to this theory people refer to structures when they act in a social context. Without structures people would constantly have to plan their actions and to think them through anew.
(in "Theorising Inequality and Change")


The means of obtaining the necessities of life (food, water, shelter, clothing). In Subsistence farming the purpose is to grow food to meet the needs of the family and/or community, rather than for profit.
(in "Actor-Orientation: The Individual Level")


Something is sustainable when it can continue into the future, coping with and recovering from stresses and shocks, while not undermining the resources from which it draws its existence. These resources may be natural, social, economic or institutional, which is why sustainability is often analysed in four dimensions: economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, institutional sustainability and social sustainability. Sustainability does not imply that there is no change, but that there is an ability to adapt over time. (Department for International Development DFID)
(in "Sustainable Development")

Sustainable Development

According to the Brundtland Report (World Commission on Environment and Development) sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. It is often defined as a concept that includes three dimensions: the economic, socio-cultural/policy, and ecological dimensions. Sustainable development is achieved if development in all three dimensions is sustainable.
(in "Sustainable Development")(in "Development Theories")(in "Actor-Orientation: The Individual Level ")

Symbolic interactionism

Symbolic interactionism refers to a theoretical approach in US sociology which seeks to explain action and interaction as the outcome of the meanings which actors attach to things and to social action, including themselves.
(in "Theorising Inequality and Change")

Symbolic violence

Symbolic violence is a form of violence done without the use of physical force but through the imposition of categories of thoughts, perception and representation over individuals or groups. It maintains these individuals or groups under domination by making them integrate specific values that justify a specific social order.
(in "Violence and (In)Security in Urban Space")

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