Perceptions of marginality in the United States and Canada

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© H. Jussila, W. Leimgruber, R. Majoral and Individual Contributors 1998. All rights reserved. This chapter analyzes the views of marginality held by scholars in the united States and Canada. It is based on an examination of geographic and social science literature, and on survey research involving North American scholars engaged in the study of marginality and marginal regions. The chapter aims to determine varying perceptions of marginality, and to discuss to what extent marginality is viewed as a 'natural' or a 'constructed' concept. Economic, social, and legal marginality are all linked through a created social hierarchy. Research on marginality generally assumes a hierarchical relationship between the marginal and the non-marginal. Usually this relationship is expressed in a Centre/Periphery model. Perceptions of marginality among geographers vary among those who understand marginality as multicentric, and those who see it as unicentric. The social constructivist view perceives marginality as a power relationship between a group viewing itself as a centre, and consequently viewing all minorities and non-members as marginal or 'other'.

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Perceptions of Marginality: Theoretical Issues and Regional Perceptions of Marginality in Geographical Space

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