Introduction process in which people are downgraded to


Marginalization is often described as a social process in which people are downgraded to the `margins’ of the society. It is defined as processes, in which individuals / communities are socially kept out, systematically blocked from, or are denied access to contribute in social and political processes which are fundamental to join together with the society. Marginalization reduces a person, a group, a section or a community to enjoy rights, privileges, prospects and resources that are usually accessible to members of a society. It may therefore be considered as a dissonant relationship between those who marginalize as compared to those who are being marginalized. Then possibly the term `marginalized’ may be used synonymously with the term `oppressed’ in comparison to an `oppressor’ as Paolo Freire used in his famous `Pedagogy of Oppressed’, `proletariat’ as used by Karl Marx, `subaltern’ used by Gramsci, `powerless’ as elaborated by Michel Foucault, or exploited, vulnerable, discriminated, disadvantaged, subjugated, socially excluded, alienated or downtrodden as used elsewhere in the available literature (Nigam, 2014).

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Marginalized in India

Marginalization has been, by and large, described as the deliberate action or tendency of human societies whereby definite sections in our community are removed or excluded from the prevalent systems of protection and integration, thus limiting their chance and means for survival. Marginalization lies at the core of all social, political and economic conflicts wherein vulnerable groups undergo victimization.

In the West, skin color is one of the significant bases of marginalisation of blacks but in the Indian society, division of population on the bases of birth as per the preambles of Varna system became core base of marginalisation of significant segment of population who were placed outside for fold Varna system, who are today constitutionally known as Scheduled Castes (SCs). Irrespective of their achieved background, SCs are alleged as marginalised groups. Scheduled Tribes (STs) are outside the Varna system. Women as a group are perceived as marginalised because in the patriarchal framework, historically they have rejection and suppression. In simple words, ‘marginalization’ is a set of processes which ignores or relegates individuals or groups to the sidelines of political space, social negotiation and economic bargaining. Homelessness, age, language, employment status, skill, caste, race, and religion are some criteria historically used to marginalize.

Social exclusion

The concept of ‘social exclusion’ is of recent origin.  It has, however, very quickly acquired widespread currency in developmental literature and political and public policy discussions.  Even as the concept has become widely popular, it remains a hotly contested notion; too vague a concept to fully comprehend.   Not only does it lack, as critics have pointed out, theoretical underpinnings and analytical clarity, issues with regard to operationalization and measurements also remain far from settled.  Questions are raised as to if social exclusion is a free-standing, novel, and distinctive concept or it is just another term saying same as does an array of concepts such as poverty ,  inequality., deprivation, vulnerability and so on. 

Social Exclusion of Marginalised

Social Exclusion was conceived in Western Europe to capture different forms of disadvantages that had resulted from economic restructuring in 1970s.  It was, however, first popularized by René Lenoir in France.  In 1974, he estimated ‘the excluded’ about one-tenth of French population, a social category not protected under social insurance principle at that item (Silver, 1995), it quickly spread throughout the European Union as a contagious concept and occupied the centre stage of political and public policy discourses by 1980.  In the treat of Amsterdam (1997), the EU declared reduction of social exclusion as its one of the main objectives.  In the Lisbon Summit held in 2000, the EU reiterated and reaffirmed combating social exclusion as a major goal of its social and economic policy

Social Exclusion in Indian context

 In India social exclusion is practiced on the base of caste and untouchability based exclusion were a group of people being excluded or denial of the rights and opportunities which the majority enjoys.

Social Exclusion of Dalits

India the society is divided in to four varans or the division of group of people on the base of their birth such as the chaturvarnya or the division of the society in to four classes a hierarchy based the Brahmins should cultivate the knowledge, that the kshatriya should bear arms, the vaishya should trade and the shudras should serve all the above three classes.(Ambedkar 1944) The Brahmin flattered the Kshatriya and both let the Vaishya live-in order to be able to live upon him. But the three agreed to beat down the Shudras. Due to chaturvarnya the shudrass could not receive education, they could not think out or know the way to their salvation they were condemned to be lowly and not knowing the way of escape and not having the means of escape they became reconciled to eternal servitude, which they accepted as they inescapable fate (Ambedkar 1944).  Caste and untouchablity based social exclusion in contemporary India Even today the Indian society is following the same Varna system were the society is categorized in to four. They are denied basic human rights not allowed to own property rights and to use public and common property such as the wells, tanks and temples. After India’s independence when India declared itself as a democratic nation having adopting a written constitution in which the practice of social exclusion in the form of untouchability is been eradicated and made it as a punishable offence under article 17 and 18 of the Indian constitution and have made several developmental provision for the Dalits. In spite of this the practice of social exclusion and discrimination has been practiced in one or the other form the practice still exists in a newer forms and strategies.  India is a hierarchical caste society, where membership in a social group and social status in society are largely determined by birth (Ghurye, 1979). Caste based exclusion and discrimination has stood over time and has taken new forms in the new millennium. It has permeated economic, civil, cultural, and political spheres of modern life as well. 

Social Exclusion of Women

World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2017, India has closed 67% of its gender gap, less than many of its international peers, and some of its neighbors like Bangladesh ranked 47th while China was placed at 100th. India’s greatest challenges lie in the economic participation and opportunity pillar where the country is ranked 139 as well as health and survival pillar where the country is ranked 141 on average, 66% of women’s work in India is unpaid, compared to 12% of men’s (WEF, 2017).  Marriage remains the key institution around which Indian women’s lives revolve and it has significant cultural and welfare implications. About 60 percent of Indian girls are married by the time they are 18, and many are married by age 15 (Desai, Dubey, Joshi, Sen, Shariff, & Vanneman, 2010).  The supply of safe well-paid jobs for educated women is low, therefore, educated women, who also belong to the higher socioeconomic condition, prefer to choose out of the labor force rather than acknowledge low-status (manual) jobs. In the other part is a rests on the cultural society and values of position and seclusion in the region, this may put off higher-status households from allowing women to work or demand employment (Chen 1995; Das and Desai, 2003). ultimately the relation between women’s education and labor force involvement takes the shape of a “U”, with high labor force participation by uneducated women, the lowest labor force participation among women who have completed primary education, and rising participation among women with post-primary education (Das, 2006).

Social Exclusion of Mental Illness

Social exclusion are also likely to lead to an increased risk of mental health difficulties, as a result of stress or managing on a low income, living circumstances, local environment, discrimination and decreased opportunities for positive self-esteem.  Exclusion of the mentally ill and disabled, a relatively neglected group, differs from other forms of exclusion are examined. Attention is drawn to the relationship between social exclusion, disadvantage, deprivation and injustice. It is pointed out that poverty, disadvantage and deprivation may lead to social exclusion, but these factors alone do not constitute the dynamics of exclusion. The bilateral relationship between mental health/ill-health and exclusionary factors is discussed, taking into account elements such as stigmatisation, ‘othering’ or ‘otherness’. The injustice aspect of social exclusion is emphasised, and a case is made for redressal of distributive, procedural and interactional injustice with regard to the mentally ill as well as other excluded groups. A different approach is required in the case of the mentally ill and disabled as an excluded group, with greater action-orientation in policy-making (Krishnan, 2015).  The mentally ill are not only ‘shunned’ (Thornicraft, 2006) but also find it very difficult to find employment, which in turn, makes them poor. There are greater barriers in getting care and treatment for mental illness than for physical ill-health. Some surveys in India reveal deficiencies in mental health care, such as insufficient facilities, a shortage of psychiatrists and psychologists, neglect of women who suffer from mental ill-health, and above all, the absence of the appropriate attitudes towards mental health. In addition, there is no provision for the treatment of those who cannot financially afford it. Such persons typically end up in poverty and deprivation (Krishnan, 2015)

Social Work and Social Inclusion

Social work is a very broad as well as a century old subject. It includes many approaches such as preventive, promotive and curative approach of social work. It is such an inter disciplinary practice profession which conglomerate of developmental psychology, sociology, social economics, social medicines, social policy and planning, social welfare administration and so on so forth. A lot of research and development in this particular issue has been made over a long period of time, which has helped in establishing it as a profession. Gradually it has also been established that social work promotes the general welfare of the society, from local to global levels and the development of people, their communities, and their environments. Social work should advocate better living conditions conducive to the fulfillment of basic human needs and should promote social, economical, political and cultural values and institutions that are compatible with the realization of social justice. Considering the above mentioned points, self help group, microfinance and women empowerment would be an ideal field of practice for social work professionals because of the existence of abundant social problem.

Social Inlcusion of women and Aged through Social Work

Gender hierarchy is the most pervasive source of inequality in the world. In view of the commitment of social work to the goal of justice, redressing the consequences of inequality among the most disenfranchised should be at the core of professional intervention. Rather than discussing the merits of specific types of practice intervention adopted by social workers.  intimate partner violence, human trafficking, gender bias/oppression, reproductive justice and equal pay for equal work have all served as challenges for social workers advocating for and supporting women’s rights. Today, “women’s issues” are often limited to health and reproductive matters; however, almost every issue is a women’s issue that requires an intersectional gender lens.  The dramatic growth in the number of adults aged 65 and older, combined with overall population aging, affects not only families and workplaces, but also health care and social service delivery systems. Meeting the needs and leveraging the contributions of an increasingly diverse older population presents both challenges and opportunities to social workers and other service providers.  Find tools, information, and resources to enhance social workers’ capacity to support both older adults and family caregivers.

Social Work with Dalits

The problems of Dalits, in particular, have hardly been the concern of professional social workers. So far, it is only the sociologists and social scientists who have dealt with the problems of Dalits, though it indeed needs the intervention of professional social workers more than any other. The focus and concern of professional social workers and the social work discipline have so far been only in the fields of health, education, income generation, rehabilitation and resettlement, adoption, family and child welfare, youth welfare, and recently also in the field of gender sensitization and environment protection. Working towards the emancipation of Dalits has so far remained outside the purview of social work profession In India the professional social workers are also part of the caste system and to a great extent they too are not free from caste prejudices.  Unless they are freed from their caste prejudice, they cannot intervene meaningfully with full commitment and conviction in dealing with the problems faced by the Dalits.. There has hardly been any attempt to document the experiences of social workers or the NGOs having professionally trained social workers dealing with caste related issues. Social work research should focus on documenting the experiences of those Dalits attempting to break up all barriers erected around them in the name of caste through the Constitutional provisions, and by organising themselves into movements against all forms of injustices inflicted on them.  Considering the fact that the social work intervention is more relevant and crucial in resolving the problems of Dalits, research needs to be carried out on the extent to which the social work institutions and social work professionals (both, social work teachers and practitioners) are free from caste prejudices, and committed to work for the cause of Dalits. Can the existing methods of social work practice such as casework, group work, community organisation, social action, social work research and social work administration be adequate enough to deal with problems of Dalits? Or do new methods need to be evolved, or should there be some modification in the existing methods? These moot questions are yet to be answered. Besides, the experience of a few NGOs which focus mainly on safeguarding the interest of Dalits should be shared at a wider level particularly in terms of the strategies.  and methods they adopt while dealing with such issues. Research in these areas is of immense importance now.

Social Inclusion of Mentally ill through Social work

The quality of health and social care is now a high priority for government, professionals, and the public. This is particularly true of mental health, where explicit standards lie at the centre of current policy, demanding the development of reliable means for quality assurance. These need to allow for the multiplicity of stakeholders in mental health-care, and their different constructions of “quality” (Ring, 2011).  To improve social inclusion for people with mental disabilities: legislation, community-based supports and services, antistigma/antidiscrimination initiatives, and system monitoring and evaluation are required. While legislative solutions are the most prevalent, and provide an important framework to support social inclusion. Community based supports and services that are person-centered and recovery-oriented hold considerable promise. Antistigma and antidiscrimination strategies are gaining in popularity and offer important avenues for eliminating social barriers and promoting adequate and equitable access to care. Finally, in the circumstance of the current human rights and evidence-based health paradigms, systematic evidence will be needed to support efforts to promote social inclusion for people with mental disabilities, highlight social inequities, and develop best practice approaches social work (Cobigo & Stuart, 2010).


Social inclusion, as an intervention, is a complex set of interactions between the person, their goals and their community (Croucher, 2010). This throws up questions as to what the core skill set is to facilitate social inclusion effectively- who should be doing it? In our experience, it demands a varied set of skills in order to meet the potential needs of each individual. These skills range from teaching, counseling and reflective practice. Central is the ability to learn from service users and have the belief that with support many service users can be the experts.  The evidence we have gathered reliably measured the impact of the work we do to promote social inclusion. Our results reveal that the health and wellbeing of service users can be improved significantly. Consequently, there is a strong argument that social inclusion interventions should constitute the core business of future healthcare and be spread more widely throughout mental health service provision.

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