Recently, I decided to look into a topic that's talked about a lot, especially in the political sector. The marginalization of groups of people in society. This post is dedicated to these groups of people who are struggling to be noticed in society, and what they actually go through. I've heard people say they felt marginalized, so I decided to do some research about what it really meant. It made me realize that some people who say they are, really are not. And it also made me realize who really is. It was a real eye opener, and I'd like to share my findings with you.
Different types of marginalization
There are three major types of marginalization. Individual, community, and professional. An example of individual marginalization would be a disabled person being denied suitable employment because of their disability. Homelessness is an example of community marginalization. An example of professional marginalization would be when a former criminal finds it impossible to find a decent job because of their history, or when a person is stuck with only one type of work because of lack of skills, illiteracy, or a poor economy.
As many as 3.5 million people experience homelessness in America alone in a given year. That's about 10% of the poor in America at any given time, according to Wikipedia. In the world, it is estimated that there are approximately 1 billion people world wide who do not have suitable housing. There are approximately 100 million people world wide who have no homes at all. The homeless are by far the most marginalized group in society.
Native or aboriginal peoples
As a result of colonialism, or colonization, many native or aboriginal peoples, such as American Indians, were displaced. Were not allowed to sell or purchase goods, or to own property. This practice of colonization unfortunately still exists in Australia, where the aboriginal people are still cruelly treated as a result of racism.
Before the welfare system was reformed in the early 1900's, single mothers were denied services that married women with children had access to.
"An environment that maintains world peace and promotes and protects human rights, democracy and the peaceful settlement of disputes...is an important factor in the advancement of women."
~quoted from www.commondreams.org
In America, we are in the midst of an awful recession. It wouldn't be wise of me to downplay it, and try to say things are great with the economy. They aren't. It's been really bad for a lot of people lately. You could say that the recession's caused the marginalization of a lot of workers, who've had a hard time making it, or holding onto their jobs. People that once had a lot of income are finding themselves without work, due to massive downsizing, another form of marginalization.
A lot of workers who've managed to hold onto their jobs are feeling marginalized as well. They're not able to advance to positions they want, because of downsizing of those particular jobs that used to be available, but no longer are. They're stuck in the same circle. And they're tired of it. I've heard this a lot. Americans are tired of the system marginalizing them. But Americans are also a very resilient lot...
The poor in other countries are marginalized in other ways. Illiteracy gets a lot of people stuck in the virtual prison of a job that confines the mind, as well as getting them physically stuck doing work that is menial and demeaning. The tea fields of India are a good example. Seven out of ten of the tea pickers in India's Assam State Plantation can't read or write, thus continuing this circle of marginalization.
Disabled people are discriminated against by employers who don't want to give them a chance, due to fear of low productivity, too many sick days, or hurting company image. Disabled people who want to work are sometimes forced to collect disability, even when they want to work.
One in four elder persons will go without food at some point in time during the next month. This is due to many factors. Sometimes, they don't have access to transportation, or it is too tiring for them to get to the super market. Sometimes, they don't have money, and don't want to burden anyone, so they wait until they receive their social security or pension checks, and quietly suffer alone. Just knowing this is heartbreaking, and makes communities grateful for Meals on Wheels, which provides hot meals to elderly people in the comfort of their own homes, along with a little extra company and conversation with a person that cares. Sometimes, that is the only interaction with people they will have for days.
Helping people who are marginalized
The question you might be asking is, "What can I do?" Clearly, one person can't save the world. I think the answers will come to each person differently, but if everyone could do something, it could really make a difference in the lives of others. Start in your own community. If you don't have money to give, then give of your time. Whatever you can do to make your community better can really make a difference. The United Way has done a phenomenal job at helping those in American communities to receive so many needed services they otherwise would not have access to. You'd be amazed how far they stretch a few dollars to help our communities. In whatever way you choose to help, I'm sure there is a person out there who will be grateful that you did.
Thanks for stopping by...CC