Social Exclusion of Individuals through Interpersonal Discrimination

Juan M. Madera and Michelle R. Hebl

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Exclusion

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780195398700
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Social Exclusion of Individuals through Interpersonal Discrimination

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  • Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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In this chapter, we discuss the social exclusion that many individuals from stigmatized groups experience. Social exclusion may happen through the expression of formal (overt, illegal) behaviors and/or through the expression of interpersonal (more subtle, legal) behaviors. In this chapter, we begin by describing these different types of discrimination and describe why we focus our discussion and research on interpersonal discrimination. Then, we review the interpersonal discrimination that members of a wide variety of stigmatized groups (e.g., obese, ethnic minorities, physically disabled) experience. We consider the consequences of such interpersonal discrimination, and argue that such behavior is paramount to excluding individuals from many domains of life, although the majority of research thus far has been conducted in workplace settings. Finally, we end by considering strategies that individuals might use to reduce such interpersonal discrimination, and ultimately social exclusion.

Keywords: social exclusion; social rejection; belonging; stigma; interpersonal discrimination

Article.  7071 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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