Jackson's "The Lottery" is very much a scapegoat story.
It doesn't suggest that every society at all times kills people to appease someone or something--it shouldn't be taken literally (although that has happened in certain places at certain times--Nazis and others, civilians in Poland and the Ukraine, for...
instance, killed 11 million Jews, Gypsies, and gays during WWII).
The story suggests, though, that humans have scapegoating tendencies; that we tend to blame minorities, those weaker than us, those who can't defend themselves, for our problems and situations.
Notice particularly that the town, the people, their daily existences, are completely normal. The lottery is even taken so matter-of-factly that the subject of lunch--after the lottery--comes up.
Jackson is suggesting that given the right circumstances, even "normal" human beings are capable of atrocities, but again, that scapegoating is also an everyday occurence, though on a less tragic level.