• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Social Exclusion

  • By: Kipling D. Williams, Eric D. Wesselmann & Zhansheng Chen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

Social exclusion refers to keeping an individual or group out of social situations. It typically occurs in the context that the individual or group is believed to possess undesirable characteristics or characteristics deemed unworthy of attention. Acts of social exclusion are observed in humans and other social animals. Researchers agree that social exclusion serves a specific function for those who employ it, and that it is unpleasant and painful for those who are denied inclusion.

Context, Importance, and Evidence

Researchers suggest four main functions for social exclusion. The first function is as a way of enforcing social rules. Societies operate on rules that apply to various situations, and if members violate these rules, they are often excluded from social activities. Individuals who break criminal laws are ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles