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Unfree Labor: Interdisciplinary Perspectives: Social Death

A Research Guide on Unfair/Unfree Labor

Social Death Theory and Its Lasting Impacts

Social Death theory is widely used by many disciplines including sociologists and anthropologists. The theory espouses the idea that certain groups of people are excluded from being considered "fully human" by those with power and authority. The theory accounts for many forms of social segregation but was linked to that of slavery and forced labor by Orlando Patterson. The following research guide can be used to recognize social death within slavery as well as the lasting effects it has on the groups of people who have been enslaved. Moreover, this research guide further elaborates on modern-day social death through forced migration due to displacement, or labor coercion.

The Foundations of Social Death Theory

Resistance to Social Death

Liminal Status

Forced Migration

Marks of Enslavement