The Lottery & Modern Scapegoating Ritualswhat type of scapegoating rituals are used today even though their purpose is now remote or even nonexistent?

Expert Answers
clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scapegoating is a "tool" that is very much alive and being used in modern day society. Nazi Germany used Jews as a means of scapegoating. Genocide is a means of scapegoating that unfortunately didn't die with WWII. If we're talking modern like right now- scapegoating is used on a daily basis and while the purpose should be remote and non-existent it is not.

People use scapegoating in office politics in offices everyday. A group of employees will get together, very much like clicks in high school, and single out, humiliate, punish, and exclude a co-worker. It's like the mob mentality- kill or be killed and so often times everyone joins in so that they aren't singled out. (Speaking of high school, students, even young students, "practice" scapegoating and singling people to no end).

One extreme example was when Andres Escobar, a soccer player, was shot dead in 1994 because he accidentally scored a goal against his own team, knocking his team out of the running for the World Cup! 

It is the nature of the human beast now more than ever to project the responsibility, feelings of guilt, and consequences of actions and situations onto someone or something else. I don't believe that scapegoating rituals are going anywhere because scapegoating is an easy way out for a lot of people and it's almost human nature for some.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unfortunately I have to agree with the other editors above - scapegoating is alive and well and perhaps reflects an unfortunate part of human nature as we seek to avoid taking responsibility for our own wrong actions and place the blame on others. A good example from a film you might like to consider is Dead Poets Society and how the boys and school turn on Mr. Keating at the end.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scapegoating is used in many aspects of our society. Look at politicians that get caught in crimes, scandals, and affairs. They do not accept personal accountability. They are content to allow others to take the fall. Bill Clinton lied to the courts, the American public, his family. When called on it--he placed the blame on someone else.

Read the study guide:
The Lottery

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question