Social Inclusion: Theoretical Development and Cross-cultural Measurements

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Social inclusion is a key outcome measure for health intervention and social services initiatives. However, there is currently no universal global measure of social inclusion with proven validity and reliability. This prevents accurate cross-cultural comparisons of the impact of social services and policy changes.

To fill this void, the authors describe the theory and development of the Social and Community Opportunities Prole (SCOPE) developed in the United Kingdom as a measure of social inclusion. The SCOPE has since been translated and applied in Hong Kong, Poland, and Brazil with proven success in providing empirical evidence of social inclusion among the general public, persons with mental health issues, and immigrants. The first of its kind, this book presents and compares these studies, moving forward social inclusion research and encouraging adoption in academia and by social service providers. The conclusions will also enlighten policy makers at national, regional, and local levels responsible for designing strategies to improve the well-being of disadvantaged groups in society.

Social Inclusion: Theoretical Development and Cross-cultural Measurements is the second book in the Mediated Health Series, which focuses on the effects of media, lifestyle, doctor-patient communication, and the economy on health and aims to help inform medical decisions and enhance the well-being of individuals.
Pub. Date
Dec 20, 2022
326 pages
152 x 229 mm
Opportunity knocked when Kara (the convener of the Environment, Health, and Sustainability group of the David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University) was invited by Professor Li Si-ming to join a research team led by Peter from Bangor University focusing on the cross-cultural study of social inclusion among mental health services users and immigrants in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. The invitation sparked our friendship and started a ten-year research journey that covers the research topics of social exclusion and inclusion, cultural assimilation, discrimination, quality of life, communication, and digital social networking. Social inclusion is a significant topic to study as division and exclusion can tear a society apart.

This book is a research monograph of what we have achieved over the entire research journey. This journey started in United Kingdom, then travelled to Hong Kong and Singapore, then travelled further to Poland and Brazil. The populations of study include the general public, users of mental health services, and immigrants. Both qualitative methods and quantitative sample survey methods have been used in the data collection. These studies enable us to see how people in different cultures interpret the concept of social inclusion and how social inclusion is experienced among different disadvantaged groups in society. A major finding, which the reader can confirm from the subsequent chapters, is that we did not observe huge differences in the understanding of social inclusion in different parts of the world. Of course, there are differences in emphasis, but our research supports the global transferability of the concept.

The significance of our research findings is two-fold. First, we established a reliable and valid measurement of social inclusion that covers all social domains. As mentioned, this measurement has been applied successfully in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, Poland, and Brazil, demonstrating its practicality in global applications. The measurement is able to help organizations providing services to disadvantaged groups that have social inclusion as an outcome measure to evaluate the effectiveness of their intervention programs or services. The measurement can also be used to understand the general experience of social inclusion as well as the experience of a specific social domains, such as education or community participation. Second, we identified key social domains that relate to social inclusion or exclusion among mental health services users. The results have implications for policy-makers in designing and implementing social policies that encourage social inclusion.

This book is intended to be a reference book for social policy-makers, managerial-level employees, professionals, and para-professionals of social services sectors that provide support for disadvantaged groups with social inclusion as an outcome indicator or as a goal of intervention. It is organized into four parts detailing tools and standards, applications in Asia as well as outside of Asia, and what these studies tell us about social inclusion.

We are in debt to the editorial and design team at City University of Hong Kong Press, with special thanks to Dr Abby Manthey (editor) for her reckless effort in reorganizing the chapters as well as bringing the manuscript to perfection and Carrie Yu for the cover design. Some of the research presented in this book has been previously published as journal articles. We thank the respective journal publishers for providing permission to reprint the articles in their edited and updated forms.

Kara Chan and Peter J. Huxley

October 2022

Part I Social Inclusion Tools and Standards

1. Introducing the Social Inclusion Concept

2. Early Concept Mapping in the United Kingdom and the Need for a New Measure of Social Inclusion

3. The Gold Standard: Development of the Long and Short Social and Community Opportunities Profile (SCOPE) in the United Kingdom

Part II Applications in Asia

4. Understanding Social Inclusion among Hong Kong People through Concept Mapping

5. Applying SCOPE-C to Measure Social Inclusion among Users of Mental Health Services in Hong Kong

6. Measuring Social Inclusion among Immigrants in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom

7. Understanding Social Inclusion among Singaporean Citizens through Concept Mapping

Part III Applications Outside of Asia

8. Applying SCOPE-P to Measure Social Inclusion among Users of Mental Health Services in Poland 

9. The Digital Divide and Social Inclusion among Users of Mental Health Services in Poland

10. Applying SCOPE-B to Measure Social Inclusion among Users of Mental Health Services in Brazil

Part IV What These Studies Tell Us About Social Inclusion

11. Factors that Affect Social Inclusion: A Four-country Comparison

12. Conclusion and Future Perspectives

Kara Chan (PhD) worked in the advertising profession and as a statistician for the Hong Kong government before she joined academia. She is a professor at the School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University. Her research interests include advertising and children/youth, health communication, and cross-cultural consumer studies. She has published eight books and over 170 journal articles and book chapters. She was a Fulbright Scholar at Bradley University. Her journal articles have won five Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence. She has received various awards at Hong Kong Baptist University, including awards for Outstanding Performance in Scholarly Work and Outstanding Performance in Service as well as the General Education Teaching Award,  Knowledge Transfer Award, and the President’s Award for Research Supervision. She was a finalist for the 2020 University Grants Committee Teaching Award and the Grand Prize of the 2021 International Contest on Blended Teaching and Learning.


Peter J. Huxley qualified as a social worker in Manchester in 1971. He went on to complete his Master’s degree and PhD under Sir David Goldberg’s supervision. Together, they co-authored “Common mental illness: The pathway to psychiatric care” and “Common mental disorder: A biosocial model”. Professor Huxley has published 11 books and over 150 peer reviewed papers in the fields of mental health and social work. He has undertaken over 15 years of research collaboration in Boulder, Colorado, with his late colleague Dr. Richard Warner, and has also worked with researchers from Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil, the United States, Russia, Norway, Israel, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. He has helped to develop such widely used social outcome measures as the Lancashire Quality of Life Profile, the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life, the Social  and Community Opportunities Profile (SCOPE), and the UK Resource Generator.