Marginalized Members of Society Marginalize Themselves

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marginalized/ˈmärjənəˌlīzd/Learn to pronounceadjective

  1. (of a person, group, or concept) treated as insignificant or peripheral. “members of marginalized cultural groups”

(Oxford Dictionaries)

As part of my teacher training many years ago, I went to an LGBTQ training seminar that I was so lucky to attend. As a scientist, I had never had ANY social, cultural studies in my background. I needed it! We spent 7 or 8 hours discussing the topic of “marginalized members of society”. It is statistically proven that when youth feel marginalized by society, they act and treat themselves as less important members of society. This includes underage drinking, drinking and driving, smoking cigarettes, drug use, lack of seatbelt use, and unprotected sex. To an old lady like me, that can look like they are “not pulling themselves up by their bootstraps”; or “they are taking unnecessary risks”. When in reality, they are acting out their part, treating themselves as they have been treated. They don’t take good care of themselves, as in they don’t care for themselves, because they have been set outside the norm, not given the same care as others.

What is it about human nature that causes us to marginalize people falling outside the norm? Are we still wary of “the Others”?

“Insignificant or peripheral”… We need to do better by our brothers and sisters with multiple faces in our society. Whether it is gender-identity, race, age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, financial status, religion, or 87 other ways we all differ from “the norm” that media feeds us, when we push people to the periphery of our community, they view themselves as less valuable and do not value themselves, causing more societal issues.

Here are a few further readings: I believe that there are MANY articles written that would better describe the situation than my little tidbit above.

Minnesota Psychological Association Marginalized Populations

NIH Guide to Vulnerability and Marginalized Populations

Traumatic Experiences, Perceived Discrimination, and Psychological Distress Among Members of Various Socially Marginalized


  1. I marginalized myself,but not for all the reasons you mention above. Some fit for me, most don’t. I marginalized myself mainly because I could not stand the people who felt it necessary to marginalize others. So much hatred. So much racism, genderization, etc. etc. etc. Really! Who wants to be a part of that!

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