Scapegoating, (v, act of singling out any party for unmerited, negative treatment) has been around since the biblical days, and still exists in many different forms today. Although there are many reasons a person or group of people may have for choosing a scapegoat, the bottom line is the simple fact that the “blamer” does not want to accept responsibility for their own actions or feelings.
Whether fueled by hostility, aggression, frustration or jealousy, the scapegoat is singled out as the cause of those unwanted feelings, and for any trouble that may come up along the way.
Scapegoating can happen anywhere from right at home within the family, right up the line to various issues within society and politics. Within the home, although most people view this to be their “safe place,” this may not be the case for some.
There are many families that either knowingly or unknowingly pick one member of the family to be the scapegoat. This person will bear the brunt of most or sometimes all family members’ anger and frustrations. There are different factors that contribute to how this person is chosen, such as: being viewed to be weaker, they may have traits of un liked relative or friend of the family, or many other unknown reasons. Eventually, this person will begin to accept this to be their lot in life, and begin to accept the blame as reality.
This will lead to emotional, behavioral, and social problems, as well as lead to low self- confidence and low self -worth. Another common place to see issues of scapegoating or bullying would be within society and politics. Some societies will place the blame for certain social problems on certain groups. There are places in the world that label specific tribes or ethnicities as the cause for what is going on. Countries will put the blame for government issues onto the President, or Prime Minister.
The leader of these countries will then in turn use scapegoating to distract from more serious, underlying issues by keeping the public busy blaming another person, country or group. The bottom line is that scapegoating, although it may seem convenient at the time, does not actually solve anything! It can lead to violence, hatred, segregation, and more serious issues. There are very rare instances of anything positive coming from scapegoating in a family setting, and even more within society and politics.