3.2 The Meaning and Nature of Marginalization 3.3 The Types of Marginalization 3.4 The Causes of Marginalization 3.5 The Levels of Marginalization 3.6 Marginalized Groups 3.7 Let Us Sum Up 3.8 References and Selectedaeadings 3.9 Check Your Progress - Possible Answers
Marginality is an experience that affects millions of people throughout the world. People who are marginalized have relatively little control over their lives, and the resources available to them. This results in making them handicapped in delving contribution to society. A vicious circle is set up whereby their lack of positive and supportive relationships means that they are prevented from participating in local life, which in turn leads to further isolation. This has a tremendous impact on development of human beings, as well as on society at large. As the objective of development is to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy a productive, healthy, and creative life, it is important to address the issue of marginalization. This unit deals, in detail, the various aspects of marginalization. After reading this unit, you will be able to: definemargmhzation; explain how marginalization creates development deprivation; delineate the nature and causes of marginalization; discuss the various types of marginalization; and explain the effects of marginalization.
3.2 THE MEANING AND NATURE OF MARGINALIZATION
In general, the term 'marginalization' describes the overt actions or tendencies of human societies, where people who they perceive to undesirabile, or without useful fkction are excluded, i.e., marginalized. The people who are marginalized are outside the existing s y s t e r ~ protection and integration. This limits their of opportunities and means for survival. The term has been defined in the following ways:
Peter Leonard defines m a r d i t y as, ". ..being outside the mainstreamof productive activity andlor social reproductive activity''. The Encyclopedia of Public Health defines marginalization as, 'To be margmdized is to be placed in the margins, and thus excluded from the privilege and power found at the center". Laitin observes that, "'Marginality' is so thoroughly demeaning, for economic well-being, for human dignity, as well as for physical security. Marginal peoples can always be identified by members of dominant society, and will face irrevocable discrimination." Merriam-Webster's online dictionary definition of the tenn, marginalize, is "to relegate to an unimportant, or powerless position within a society or group" Ghana S. Gurung and Michael Kollmair mention that the concept of marginality is generally used to analyse socioeconomic, political, and cultural spheres, where disadvantaged people struggle to gain access to resources and full participation in social life. In other words, marginalized people might be socially, economically, politically and legally ignored, excluded, or neglected, and, therefore vulnerable to livelihood change. According to Sommers et. al., "Socio-economic marginality is a condition of socio-spatial structure atid process in which components of society and space in a territorial unit are observed to lag behind an expected level of performance in economic, political and social well being, compared with average conditions in the territory as a whole" These definitions are mentioned in merent contexts, and show that margumhation is a slippery and multilayered concept. To further clarifl the meaning and concept let us discuss certain features of marginalization: Sometimes, whole societies can be marginalized at national and global levels, while classes and communities can be margmlized from the dominant social order within the local level. In some other contexts, the same community can be margmahzed in certain country (Jews in Germany or Russia) whereas they are not marginalized in another country (Jews in the U.S.A.)....