In the old sense, it refers to the banishing, in Athens or another Greek city, of a public figure. In the modern sense, the word means the exclusion of a person or group in the community, for example, an activist, gays and lesbians, not to mention all the Jewish ghettos throughout the history of the West.

This strategy means behaving as if others were not present or did not exist, refusing to speak to or acknowledge them, and ignoring their culture (includes ethnocide).