This article looks at social inclusion from a sociological perspective. It argues that sociology complements biological and other natural order explanations of social stratification. The article interrogates a variety of forms of social integration, including ostracism within 5th century B.C. Greece, 19th-century solidarism, and Goffman’s mid-20th-century work on stigma. It does so to demonstrate how in each of these contexts, social inclusion and exclusion can function as apparati that problematize people on the margins, and by extension, contribute to their governance and control. The article proposes that sociology provides a valuable orientation from which to consider social inclusion because it illuminates how social integration maintains and manages the ways in which people move about and through their socially stratified worlds.
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