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    STUDIA EUROPAEA - Issue no. 1 / 2000  

  Abstract:  A new `social evil` has been identified and nowadays it seems to become the central issue of the advanced social studies. Beginning with early 1990`s, both in US and Western Europe, social researchers, political scientists and especially students in Anthropology talk about exclusion as the main `disease` of contemporary societies. Feminists, multiculturalists and other `theorists of difference` strongly demand societal recognition and participation for certain groups (often called `minorities`), traditionally considered excluded from public life or located at the borderline. As we shall notice later, exclusion and marginality have clear and distinct meanings, even they use to focus on the same kind of problems. `Who is in and who is out?` this is one of the major interrogations that often press social researchers to identify limits of the communities and to describe the core of these groups. It is self-evident that such a rigid and exclusivist approach cannot assimilate the liberal theory of the open society and thus fail in the effort of explaining dynamic processes like social mobility, frontiers` dissolution or cultural globalization. According to Robert Goodin, ,,the solution is not to make our communities more inclusive but rather to change their nature- making them at one and the same time both less exclusive and less inclusive".  
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