related topics
{group, member, jewish}
{law, state, case}
{woman, child, man}
{theory, work, human}
{god, call, give}
{church, century, christian}
{rate, high, increase}
{government, party, election}
{disease, patient, cell}
{build, building, house}

Shunning is the act of social rejection, the deliberate avoiding association with, and habitually keeping away from, an individual or group. It is a sanction against association, often associated with religious groups and other tightly knit organizations and communities. Targets of shunning can include, but are not limited to, apostates, whistleblowers, dissidents, people classified as "sinners" or "traitors" and other people who defy or who fail to comply with the standards established by the shunning group(s).

Social rejection was and is a punishment used by many customary legal systems. Such sanctions include the ostracism of ancient Athens and the still-used kasepekang in Balinese society.



Shunning can be broken down into behaviours and practices that seek to accomplish either or both of two primary goals.

Some less often practiced variants may seek to:

  • Remove a specific member from general external influence to provide an ideological or psychological buffer against external views or behaviour. The amount can vary from severing ties to opponents of the group up to and including severing all non-group-affiliated intercourse.

Shunning is usually approved of (if sometimes with regret) by the group engaging in the shunning, and usually highly disapproved of by the target of the shunning, resulting in a polarization of views. Those subject to the practice respond differently, usually depending both on the circumstances of the event, and the nature of the practices being applied. Extreme forms of shunning have damaged some individuals' psychological and relational health. Responses to the practice have developed, mostly around anti-shunning advocacy; such advocates highlight the detrimental effects of many of such behaviors, and seek to limit the practice through pressure or law. Such groups often operate supportive organizations or institutions to help victims of shunning to recover from damaging effects, and sometimes to attack the organizations practicing shunning, as a part of their advocacy.

Full article ▸

related documents
Neturei Karta
Jews for Jesus
Support group
Unitarian Universalist Association
Boy Scouts of America
Toastmasters International
Knights of Columbus
Sephardi Jews
Conservative Judaism
Torah study
Charitable trust
Religious conversion
Israel Shahak
Orthodox Judaism
Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
Community of Christ
Louis Finkelstein
Religious order
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
Hospitality Club
Samson Raphael Hirsch
The Wildlife Trusts partnership