Marginalization, according to Toporek (2006), is the process through which a particular group or individual is denied access to basic amenities, position, religion, symbols of economy, or political influence in any society. A marginalized group may be either a minority group or the group that constitutes the majority. Toporek (2006) argues that marginalization first became a sociological issue in the 1960s, mainly as a result of the realization that even though developing countries portrayed rapid growth in economy, unequal distribution of economic benefits was rampant among members of certain communities.
The process through which this marginalization emerged turned out to be a very important source of research, especially for those influenced by dependence, Marxist, in addition to world system theories, who insisted that marginalization was associated with the world capitalist order and was not only a concern of certain societies (Toporek, 2006). African-Americans though they form a very large percentage of the U. S society, are one of the highly marginalized social groups in the modern world.
A very large proportion of this group lives below poverty level even though the United States is a developed and wealthy nation. Although African-Americans are the oldest minority groups in the U. S society, they are yet to enjoy full social, political equality and economic benefits. The other minority groups in the U. S society today are the Latinos and Asian-Americans (Riphagen, n. d. ). However, Africa- Americans tend to experience a more severe burden in regards to absolute numbers as well as proportions of families that are affected in any given community.
The magnitude of poverty among African-Americans is very high, and poverty remains a harsh reality for many African-American families today. It would therefore, be appropriate to argue that the American dream have bypassed a very big proportion of the African-Americans populace (Riphagen, n. d. ). The white population in the United States is satisfied with its ability to achieve the American dream and believe in its transference to the African-Americans.
As a result, the African-Americans doubt whether the American dream is attainable for them. Riphagen (n. d. ) states that even though the American principles make it clear that inspite of the ethnic background, place of residence, and economic status of a person, hard work can make a person move up the social ladder and set up a better life; African-Americans still languish in poverty. As a consequence African-Americans living in poverty are termed as lazy people who lack motivation.
Other features that characterize the African-American society include: underachievement, unemployment, rampant teen pregnancy, divorce, medical problems, and difficulties with psychological adjustments. All these factors come together to construct a net of devastating social conditions that affect the African-Americans today (Riphagen, n. d. ). Riphagen (n. d. ) argues that although the civil rights that the African-Americans were fighting for in the 1960s are currently used for all people, they are not as helpful to them as they would have liked (Riphagen, n. d. ).
White supremacy, which is believed to absent in the 21st century, is one of the major factors that have led to the marginalization of the African-Americans. A very large proportion of the white community continues to act according to the principles of white supremacy. The culture of oppression towards the African-Americans has remained the same throughout history. Scholars, as Riphagen (n. d. ) states, believe that racism is very much alive in the United States though in a more subtle form as compared to the past.
Nevertheless, marginalization remains one of the major contemporary forces that determine the dynamics of the modern African-American community. Another major factor that leads to marginalization of the African Americans is the color of their skin. The white communities in the United States consider that black skin of African-Americans to be inferior and as a result they do not see the reason as to why the African-Americans should be as prosperous as they (Riphagen, n. d. ).