Landscapes of Marginality
In most societies there exists a distinction between the periphery and the core, physically, socially and economically. These concepts of core and periphery are subsumed and expanded in the paradigm of marginality. Indeed marginality also incorporates the sociological concepts of inclusion and exclusion and alternative narratives rooted in the memories of communities. Marginality is primarily defined and described by two major conceptual frameworks, i.e. spatial (geographical and/or environmental) and societal.
The explanation of the spatial dimension of marginality (spatial marginality is also referred as geographical or physical marginality in the literature) is primarily based on physical location and distance from centres of development, lying at the edge of, or poorly integrated with those centres.
Physical marginality, although often used as synonymous with spatial marginality, can also refer to situations where livelihoods are compromised by physical or environmental constraints independently of spatial isolation.
The societal framework focuses on human dimensions such as demography, religion, culture, social structure, economics and politics in connection with access to resources by individuals and groups. In this regard, the emphasis is placed on an understanding of the underlying causes of exclusion, inequality, social injustice and spatial segregation of people.