The COALESCE Lab is a research team dedicated to studying processes of social exclusion, cohesion, and polarization from a social network perspective. While these processes are fundamentally relational, they are often studied at the individual level, or on the basis of social media networks, which leads to knowledge gaps regarding their emergence and persistence. The COALESCE Lab aims to contribute to research into these processes by focusing in depth on the everyday relationships among citizens and their societal consequences. It thus aims to connect micro-level relationships to macro-level outcomes.
To do so, the COALESCE Lab conducts mixed-methods research: it uses qualitative research regarding the interaction patterns of individuals, their meaning for individuals, and the causal mechanisms underlying their emergence and maintenance, survey research and computational analysis on the resulting network patterns, and agent-based modeling and simulation to study possible macro-level outcomes in more depth.
The lab, directed by Miranda Lubbers, is embedded within the larger GRAFO research group that also involves the Egolab and getp, with which we share our passion for research into personal networks and relatedness. The lab is also embedded in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Nonetheless, the lab aims to be an interdisciplinary environment, where we combine our complementary strengths to advance knowledge in these areas.
Our research is focused on the relational foundations of social cohesion, polarization, and exclusion.