Untouchable (social system)


Untouchable (social system)

Untouchability is a social system in which people belonging to a particular group restrict people in other groups from interacting with them socially. The excluded group could be one that did not accept the norms of the excluding group and historically included foreigners, nomadic tribes, law-breakers and criminals. This exclusion was a method of punishing law-breakers and also protected against contagion from strangers. A member of the excluded group is known as an untouchable. [ [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=untouchable&searchmode=none Untouchable definition from the Online Etymology Dictionary] ]

The term is commonly associated with treatment of the Dalit class in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Untouchability has been made illegal in post-Independence India. [ [http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/06/0602_030602_untouchables.html India's "Untouchables" Face Violence, Discrimination.] Hillary Mayellfor National Geographic News. June 2, 2003]

Other examples include the segregation and discrimination against the al-Akdham in Yemen, the Gypsies and Cagots in Europe and the Burakumin in Japan.

References

ee also

* Dalit, in India and Nepal
* Burakumin, "hisabetsu buraku", a Japanese social minority group
* Khadem, an ethnic minority group in Yemen outside and below the three Arab tribes
* Baekjeong, a Korean outcaste
* Caste
**Balinese caste system
**Indian caste system
* Outcast
* Homo sacer


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