When thinking about ostracism at various stages of the life span, several images may come to mind: a young child on the playground not being permitted to join in play with a group of children; adult employees who are shunned by their colleagues; or older individuals housed separately and away from their family and former friends, feeling invisible to society at large. The definition of ostracism—being ignored and excluded—covers the entire life span and includes not only the examples mentioned but even minimal and seemingly trivial episodes of not being looked at or responded to when acknowledgment and responsiveness are expected. It can occur face-to-face or over social media, and it can last for a moment or decades. This entry describes the experience of ostracism ...

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