All societies have places that are ߢon the margins’. In simple terms, these are the places or locales where we find particular concentrations of ߢoutsiders’, people excluded in various ways from participation in mainstream or ߢnormal’ society. Of course, these spaces may not always be literally on the margins, in the sense in areas spatially distant from the command centres of the world economy, from spectacular new concentrations of leisure and entertainment or from areas regarded as aesthetically pleasing. In fact, they are often closely, and cruelly, juxtaposed with such areas. Yet such areas are a focus of simultaneous fascination and fear for most members of society, and indeed for many human geographers, as they represent specific spatial concentrations of those who fail to match mainstream ideas of how people should live and work. Typically, such areas might be characterised by large numbers of people excluded from the labour force, dependent on welfare and living in substandard housing. Simultaneously, this deprivation may be manifest in indicators of social pathology such as ill health, drug-dependence, vice and crime. Most people are probably aware of such places, even if they have never visited them, and generally seek to avoid them, regarding them as ߢno-go’ areas. It is the stigma surrounding these places that, I shall argue, leads to their relative isolation; once a place is labelled as degraded and deprived, its residents find it increasingly hard to be accepted by mainstream society.