What are the characteristics of a scapegoat?
The importance of the scapegoat is that it ends conflict due to mimetic rivalry by uniting others against it. For conflicted persons or groups to unite against a scapegoat, they must be able to identify personally to some extent with the scapegoat, but they must not identify too much with the scapegoat. The scapegoat belongs to the society, but has certain traits that isolate him or her at the margins. From one culture to another, the dominant group sees the potential scapegoat as a “social nobody.” If the scapegoat were someone in the mainstream, there would be people who cared about the scapegoat, and victimizing the scapegoat would lead to social reprisals, thus, lengthening the conflict. For this reason, the scapegoat is often a weaker member of society who lacks a defender – someone who is vulnerable because he or she is “different.” History reveals the tendency of a majority in society to scapegoat a minority because of cultural, gender, physical and/or religious differences. On