Scapegoating

Practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Scapegoating is the practice of singling out a person or group for unmerited blame and consequent negative treatment. Scapegoating may be conducted by individuals against individuals (e.g. "he did it, not me!"), individuals against groups (e.g., "I couldn't see anything because of all the tall people"), groups against individuals (e.g., "He was the reason our team didn't win"), and groups against groups.

Albrecht_D%C3%BCrer_-_Man_of_Sorrows_with_Hands_Bound_-_WGA7346.jpg
Schmerzensmann (lit.'man of sorrows'), drypoint by Albrecht Dürer 1512 depicting Jesus Christ

A scapegoat may be an adult, child, sibling, employee, peer, ethnic, political or religious group, or country. A whipping boy, identified patient, or "fall guy" are forms of scapegoat.

Scapegoating has its origins in the scapegoat ritual of atonement described in chapter 16 of the Biblical Book of Leviticus, in which a goat (or ass) is released into the wilderness bearing all the sins of the community, which have been placed on the goat's head by a priest.[1]

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