(from L. margo, extremity and border of something). A term used in contemporary sociology to characterize a large social group made up of persons who have ceased to belong to the castes or estates of traditional society, but who have not yet become integrated into the classes or strata of modern society. They occupy an intermediate position, and maintain family, economic, social and cultural ties with the traditional groups of their origin. ”Marginal” is understood to mean those who are on the fringes of possession of rights that are commonly held by the rest of the population, and who suffer from social conditions of inferiority. In sociology the concept “marginal strata” is at times identified with social parasitism. Such interpretation is incorrect; as a general rule, the marginal engage in productive activity, albeit occasional,, since they have no profession, economic means of their own, decent housing, etc. Neither can all residents of ghettos or slum areas be considered as “marginal strata”, because of the enormous social differentiation observed among them. Not only the marginalized live in those areas, but also laborers, employees, professionals, merchants with modest resources, including criminals engaged in illegal activity.