Marginalization – What is it, definition and concept

Marginalization is a situation in which a group or person is left out by another group or by society as a whole. In this way, the marginalized are displaced from the advantages of living integrated in society.

Marginalization consists of leaving aside or directly setting aside a group or a person for very specific reasons. On a larger scale it occurs with groups, it happens when a sector of the population is not integrated into the rest of society.

Displacement means that the marginalized does not enjoy the great advantages of relating to the rest of society. It can also be the beginning of another much worse process such as social exclusion or poverty. In fact, these last two situations can be both causes and consequences of marginalization.

Unfortunately, marginalization is a social phenomenon suffered by a large number of people. Due to the large number of factors that affect marginalization and the large number of areas in which it operates, practically anyone can fall into it. However, there are factors that influence more than others. There are also people who, due to structural factors, are more likely than others to fall into it.

Types of marginalization

It is necessary to highlight and mention that there are different types of marginalization, and they are the following:

  • Labor marginalization: It happens when a person is removed from the labor market for not having the knowledge and skills that it demands. As examples we have the case of those over fifty in physical jobs, since companies and employers look for the energy and capabilities of a young person. We also see this type of marginalization by age in positions that require certain computer skills, as older people are not usually hired because the level of digitization of the company does not allow them to develop the necessary skills. Labor marginalization also occurs with people who have a disability. Or those who belong to structurally marginalized groups such as gypsies or other ethnic minorities.
  • School marginalization: This is especially sad, since it is suffered by children without any rational reason. It consists in that, at school or institute, a child is separated by the rest of his classmates, denying him free interaction with the rest of the children. This hinders their development and can lead to consequences such as unhappiness, depression or, in extreme situations, even suicide.
  • Socioeconomic marginalization: In this case, the factors that come into play are socioeconomic, that is, income and social position. This occurs with social groups that have traditionally been more marginalized, living in suburbs, shanty towns or other similar enclaves. We have the example of the favelas in Brazil, whose inhabitants find themselves in a situation of exclusion, marginalization and structural poverty from which it is very difficult to get out.
  • Cultural marginalization: It consists of a predominant group separating a cultural minority. It can happen in countries where several cultures coexist. But it can also occur when there is simply no good tolerance and coexistence with foreigners. Those who suffer from it tend to group themselves in ghettos and associate exclusively with those who share their same culture.
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Consequences of marginalization

The consequences of marginalization are very severe, no matter if it is about specific people or a group.

In the first case, where a person, for whatever reason, is removed from a certain area, this can lead to mental illness and even poverty and social exclusion. Also, in a very extreme case, the death of the sufferer.

In the second case, where marginalization is suffered by a large but specific group, it can lead to the stigmatization of the group and the perpetuation of an adverse situation. This occurs with shantytowns, conflictive neighborhoods or with the foreign population that has not yet integrated into the country of destination.

Another consequence is crime, since if people cannot integrate into the labor market to obtain the goods and services they need for themselves, they will do so by force, either by mugging, stealing or killing.


The State or other organizations can carry out actions to alleviate these situations. For example, the promotion of social rental, hiring aid, income and insertion aid, etc. At the labor level, workshops can also be held to harmonize the knowledge needed by the employee and the employer.

And at the educational level, it is possible to closely monitor and monitor cases of bullying and marginalization. Likewise, parents and the educational center can be forced to take measures that put an end to said situations.

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