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9 Examples of Social Exclusion

Social exclusion is a situation where individuals or groups are prevented from fully participating in society and social processes. This can be based on a range of factors such as poverty, discrimination, disability, poor health, immigration status, social status and social sigma. The following are illustrative examples of social exclusion.

Economic Exclusion

Inability to secure financial resources or participate in economic processes.
An individual who can't get a mortgage based on their immigration status.

Employment Exclusion

Inability to secure a job.
Firms that only hire young candidates from prestigious universities.

Market Exclusion

Exclusion from markets as a buyer or seller.
An ecommerce seller refuses to ship to a particular zip code.

Education Exclusion

Inability to participate in education.
Poverty that prevents a talented student from going to university.

Physical Exclusion

Being excluded from physical access to environments and services.
A person who can't stay at a beach front hotel because it's not accessible for people with disabilities.

Social Ostracism

Exclusion from social processes at the individual level.
A teacher asks students to self-organize into groups and one student is left out due to perceived social status.

Digital Exclusion

Being excluded from digital environments or due to access to digital tools.
A newspaper with a paywall that many people can't afford such that they are unable to access quality sources of local news.
A shop that doesn't allow people to purchase unless they use a particular type of digital payment.


Discrimination against people based on their identity.
A landlord rejects an application for an apartment based on the ethnicity of the applicant.

Psychological Exclusion

Exclusion that affects an individual's sense of belonging and identity.
Everyone is invited to a team outing except for an employee with a disability.


The following are other types of social exclusion.
Age exclusion
Cultural exclusion
Digital exclusion
Disability exclusion
Economic exclusion
Education exclusion
Employment exclusion
Ethnic exclusion
Exclusion of LGBT+ individuals
Exclusion of homeless people
Exclusion of migrants
Exclusion of people based on access to technology
Exclusion of people with criminal records
Exclusion of people with mental health issues
Exclusion of refugees
Exclusion of single parents
Gender exclusion
Generational exclusion
Geographic exclusion
Health exclusion
Income exclusion
Legal exclusion
Linguistic exclusion
Political exclusion
Psychological exclusion
Racial exclusion
Religious exclusion
Urban-rural exclusion
Overview: Social Exclusion
Individuals or groups that are prevented from fully participating in society and social processes.
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