Gamson, William A.
February 1995
American Sociological Review;Feb95, Vol. 60 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
In most societies, there is an ongoing contest over who is the "we," to whom specific moral obligations apply, and who is the "they," to whom they do not. This paper explores and contrasts the most blatant forms of active exclusion, which includes genocide, and indirect exclusion, which is characterized by subtle forms of exclusion through social invisibility. In genocide, the targeted groups are not simply excluded from life integrity rights, but offenses against them are explicitly encouraged, rewarded, and sanctioned by the regime. In indirect exclusion, the exclusion is implicit in cultural and institutional practices and is often unintentional. I examine the difficulties and dilemmas involved in resisting and preventing active exclusion and in challenging the cultural codes that maintain indirect exclusion.


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