Marginal Man

A ‘Marginal Man’ is a fictional archetype created in 1927 by sociologist Robert Ezra Park (1864-1944) (and further developed by Everett Stonequist (1901-1979)) as a way  to describe a person descended from two “opposing” ethnic or racial groups.  He stated, “The marginal man…is one whom fate has condemned to live in two societies and in two, not merely different but antagonistic cultures….his mind is the crucible in which two different and refractory cultures may be said to melt and, either wholly or in part, fuse.”   The arc for ‘Marginal Man’ was similar to that of  the ‘Tragic Mulatto‘ because he too, attempted to “pass” as white, however he could change course and take a hypodescendent path and if he were fortunate become a leader of his “lesser” lot.

See, Everett V. Stonequist’s July 1935 article “The Problem of the Marginal Man.”