Humans are a profoundly social species, aligning with groups, forming group identification, and navigating the social world. One of the complex tasks of childhood is to understand when exclusion is necessary to make groups work well, and when it is wrong, creating unnecessary harm or unfairness. In this volume the authors grapple with many new aspects of exclusion not previously documented by taking a developmental and social psychological approach. The studies reveal original findings regarding how children both perpetuate and are recipients of exclusion, and the processes that accompany these experiences. In reflecting on the diverse range of work represented in this special issue, various themes emerge, such as the roles of context and norms in children’s exclusionary behaviour and judgment, the particular forms that exclusionary behaviour can take, and the consequences that result as part of the developmental process. Most importantly, given that social identities frame a host of phenomena associated with group-based exclusionary phenomena, the field should reveal the central role that social identity plays in how exclusion and inclusion are understood.
- Children, social exclusion, intergroup attitudes, social norms, social identity