The phenomenon of marginalization is a social fact that is difficult to define in terms of its definition and manifestations since it influences time and space; that is, what is marginal today may not be tomorrow and what is marginal here may not be elsewhere (Arvind & Megha, 33). However, there is agreement among authors to situate this phenomenon in a limited space-time context and, from there, to operationalize this concept and understand it as that situation that gives an individual or a group that does not have access to an average level of quality of life. It is, therefore, the process resulting from a social, political and economic structure that maintains a sector or sectors of the population in conditions markedly inferior to the required average (Brady 558). From one point of view, marginalization would be understood as something objective, structural and therefore external and alien to the will of the subjects who live this situation. It would, however, another interpretation that would understand this phenomenon as something subjective, internal, and individual.
The effects of the phenomenon of marginalization are very varied; these are what are presented as an obvious reality. It can be said that in recent years, among the different marginal forms of life, crime has had a strong impact on social life as it has undergone spectacular growth. Most of the reported crimes are armed robbery to small businesses, pharmacies, and pedestrians, burglaries with broken homes and young offenders who often supplement their lack of experience with the resource of violence and commit vehicles, "pulls" among others (Vani et al. 282). Most of them are minor crimes, but their repetition and their relatively easy accompaniment of aggressions have generated a collective awareness of insecurity, which calls for tougher measures against crime or the use of weapons. Some people argue that these crimes cannot be attributed to marginalization but to parental neglect. However, this is wrong since parental and child neglect is a consequence of poverty, a concept linked to marginalization.
Drug dependence influences, in part, crime. Many of the misdemeanors are associated with the increase of drug addiction and are committed in order to procure the necessary money for the daily dose. A network of organized criminal groups that control the distribution of stolen goods and the distribution of drugs has been consolidated on this minor crime (Brady 560). Some people argue that even wealthy people use drugs, especially musicians and entertainers, and as such, marginalization cannot be the leading factor of drug dependence. However, this is a skewed reasoning since the number of poor people using drugs is far much greater than the number of wealthy people using drugs. Marginalized people are exposed to drugs at a very young age compared to children from healthy backgrounds who rarely lack anything.
Prostitution experiences, progressively, in major cities, a notable increase in those who, men or women, dedicate themselves to it. There are no reliable global data, the most contrasted information coming from a sector of the population that is treated at the "Municipal Health Centers". The increase of those engaged in prostitution is also linked to the aforementioned increase in drug addiction: many habitual consumers find in prostitution the source of income to maintain their levels of consumption (Vani et al. 283). From the places where prostitution was traditionally practiced in major cities, it has been extended to other areas, and the City Council has had to start in the Central Zone a specific health program for a population that has a high degree of physical deterioration and was on the fringes of all medical and social assistance. Other people say that laziness and the desire to get rich quickly is the reason why many engage in prostitution (Arvind & Megha, 36). However, this is not entirely true since many people go into prostitution so that they can afford their income. These women do not have means of survival and decide to turn to prostitution to survive. Poverty is a direct consequence of marginalization.
Another effect that occurs is begging as a marginal way of life. Major cities are the main attraction for beggars from other parts of the world (in recent years, also from North Africa, although some of them are engaged in precarious and poorly paid jobs). The increase in begging is progressive, the increase being more significant in the spring and summer months (Vani et al. 284). The municipal capacity to serve beggars in shelters and soup kitchens is very limited. Other factors that influence the phenomenon of marginalization are unemployment, mainly juvenile, and the increase in the retired population.
When people refer to marginalization, the gaze is directed to the periphery of the city. Today you can see how in some old deteriorated neighborhoods of cities, in Madrid for example, human misery, the so-called waste of society, which does not count for anyone, are accumulating; in these neighborhoods, marginal people and marginal "trades" accumulate in continuous degradation. They continue to be the reference for the cheapest and poorest prostitution (Vani et al. 289). They have become the refuge of people without ordinary means of earning a living. Beggars, passers-by, homeless people, degraded alcoholics, drug addicts totally broken, families evicted from their homes, released without family, young escapees from the reformatory or their homes, foreign immigrants without fixed direction, drug dealers, and stolen objects, etc.
After this wide range of undesired effects and in some disintegrating sense, it is not possible to conclude more than saying, that the phenomenon of marginalization is a social problem insofar as it affects a group of individuals that live in society and because it affects the society itself (Arvind & Megha 44). Additionally, these marginal phenomena can be the cause, in some cases, of the appearance of criminal behavior and of the increase or maintenance of the feeling of citizen insecurity in the population. Hence, the Public Powers, through the City Councils, the Autonomous Communities and the Central Administration and the Non-Governmental Organizations, such as the Red Cross and Caritas, have developed specific programs to try to eliminate the causes of some types of marginalization and achieve insertion of many of these collectives.
Arvind Pangariya & Megha Mukim (2013), A comparative analysis of Poverty in India -Working Paper No. 2013-01, Program of Indian Economic Policies, Columbia University
The Politics of Poverty: Left Political Institutions, the Welfare State, and Poverty Author(s): David Brady Source: Social Forces,Vol. 82, No. 2 (Dec., 2003), pp. 557-588
Vani K. Borooah, Dilip Diwakar, Vinod Kumar Mishra, Ajaya Kumar Naik & Nidhi S. Sabharwal (2014) Caste, inequality, and poverty: a re-assessment, Development Studies Research: An Open Access Journal, 1:1, 279-294
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