Marginalised groups and risk behaviour
There are great personal costs associated with marginalisation, including a low standard of living and a poor quality of life. In addition, the marginalisation of large sections of society undermines the sustainability of the welfare state. Marginalisation is linked to problems of social coherence and of the financing of the welfare state.
The financial problems arise because marginalised groups are often affected by unemployment, which leads to both heavy costs to society (in the form of benefit payments) and lower income to society (as a result of a reduction in the size of the tax base).
In addition, marginalised individuals are more likely to engage in risk behaviour, including alcohol and substance abuse and generally unhealthy lifestyles. Such problems can further increase the marginalisation experienced by individuals, and may also be symptomatic of other, quite different problems. Research into marginalised groups is therefore important because of the consequences of risk behaviour and marginalisation for both the individuals concerned and the nation as a whole.