STAGE 4. Selecting the theoretical approach

What steps should be completed?

Step 1: Select the theoretical approach or approaches on which the intervention will be based


Various authors1, 2, 3 have identified different areas of exclusion and exclusion-generating factors, as shown in the following table. The number of factors, their combination and the way in which they feed back, determine a greater or lesser degree of vulnerability, placing people towards either end of the continuum between inclusion and exclusion, depending on their psychological, physical and social resources. Vulnerability is therefore a consequence of structural and personal disadvantages, where certain social, financial, cultural, biological and epidemiological factors affect individual decisions and behaviours.




Poverty, financial difficulties in the household, dependence on social protection and lack of social protection.


Unemployment, underemployment, lack of qualification, job precariousness, inability or disability for work and lack of work permit in the case of foreigners/immigrants.


Withdrawal from school, no access to compulsory education, illiteracy, low training levels, failure at school, dropping out of the educational system, and the language barrier.


Lack of access to the health system, chronic illnesses that create dependence, mental disorders and illnesses, addictions and associated diseases, premature child mortality and diseases that cause social exclusion.


Deterioration of family and/or parental networks (gender violence, abuse), scarcity or weakness of family and/or parental networks and belonging to at-risk families.


Scarcity or weakness of close social networks, social isolation, lack of social support, rejection and/or social stigmatisation and integration into "deviant" social networks.


No access to housing, poor housing conditions (overcrowding, lack of basic services), deterioration of buildings, housing and services, deterioration of public spaces, stigmatisation of an area, lack of citizen safety, absence of equipment and resources, economic marginalisation, lack of social cohesion, poor mobility (absence of public transport).


No access to citizenship, restricted access to certain rights and public services, limitations on political and social participation, deprivation of rights by criminal proceedings.


Gender (women are at higher risk of exclusion), belonging to certain ethnic groups, age (young people and older persons are at higher risk of exclusion), nationality/immigration.

Source: own creation from Malgesini G, García M (2000), Tezanos JF (2001) and Subirats J et al. (2004).



1 Malgesini G, García M. (2000), Patrones de exclusión social en el marco europeo. Acciones prioritarias para la integración. Proyecto financiado por la Comisión Europea [Patterns of social exclusion in the European framework. Priority actions for inclusion], Dirección General de Empleo y Asuntos Sociales.

2  Tezanos JF. (2001). Tendencias de dualización y exclusión social en las sociedades tecnológicas avanzadas. Un marco para el análisis [Dualization and social exclusion tendencies in technologically advanced societies], in JF Tezanos, ed. Tendencias en desigualdad y exclusión social [Tendencies in inequality and social exclusion]. Madrid, Editorial Sistema: 11-53.

3 Subirats J et al. (2004). Pobreza y exclusión social. Un análisis de la realidad española y europea [Poverty and social exclusion. Analysis of the Spanish and European situations]. Colección Estudios Sociales Núm.16. Barcelona: Fundación La Caixa.