Social exclusion refers to the relational roots of deprivation and poverty. As a concept, the focus is on groups, rather than individuals. Certain social groups in a society are denied access to social, political, or economic institutions like labor markets, housing markets, schools, health care systems, and formal or informal social networks, and are unable to participate in the mainstream activities. According to the definition of the European Union, “Social exclusion refers to the multiple and changing factors resulting in people being excluded from the normal exchanges, practices and rights of modern society.”

The practice of social exclusion has existed in human society from ancient times. Plato’s work I Nomoi categorically excludes women and slaves from having any political or social rights. Such structural categories shape ...

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