The Marginalized Workforce
Marginalization refers to the process of treating a person or a group of persons as insignificant or peripheral. Marginalization is caused by different factors, but mainly as an outcome of the inequitable approach to resources and the influence of social norms. Other terms that are often used interchangeably with marginalization are disadvantaged or underprivileged. Today and throughout history, many individuals and groups experience some form of exclusion from the organizations and societies in which they work.
Some of the groups of people that are most likely to be marginalized include: human trafficking victims, the poor, young workers who are undereducated or are victims of child labor, chronically unemployed individuals, immigrants, and other groups that are often perceived as having a lower status in society such as ethnic minorities, disabled workers, older workers, and LDBT employees. Marginalized workers face a unique set of struggles and common experiences that are necessary for social historians to document and analyze.
The laws that protect minorities from legislation in the labor market often tend to be comprehensive and detailed in numerous countries throughout the world. At the same time, however, they are often seen as weak and ineffective. The reality that confronts many disadvantaged workers all over the world directly opposes the national non-discrimination legislation that many countries have. This implies that there is little interconnection between the labor market and other aspects of society such as public services and property relations.
People around the world are still marginalized for reasons that are beyond their control. What is most likely needed is a more constructive approach that focuses on the possible opportunities and not on the challenges of integration. Essentially, it should be emphasized that human dignity is not negotiable and that people, no matter their ethnicity, religion, orientation, or wealth, deserve equal treatment and employment opportunities.
For researchers and historians, a review of the literature is necessary to assess the long-term causes and impact of labor market marginalization. This should shed some light on how financial and material deprivation affects not only those who are marginalized, but also the economy and society as a whole.