The social structure of WT, disfellowshipping, etc.
Interesting comparison with slavery.
The beginning of social death comes from the initial enslavement process, which would most likely come from capture during a battle. A captive would be spared from death and created a slave, although this was a conditional commutation since death was only suspended as long as the slave submitted to his powerlessness. This pardon from death was replaced with social death, which would manifest both physically and psychologically.
Externally, slaves would undergo the loss of their identities through such practices as replacing their names, being branded to indicate their social condition, given a specific dress code that further established them as slaves to the public, castration, and having their heads shaved. Each of these acts alienated the slaves from their previous identities and symbolized their loss of freedom and power and their total dependency on their master’s will. The psychological process of social death included the effect of rejection as a member of society and becoming genealogically isolated through the loss of heritage and the right to pass on their ancestry to their children. In fact, all social bonds were seen as illegitimate unless they were validated by the master. Enslaved people were denied an independent social structure and were not even deemed fully human, as they were only seen as a representation of their master and had no honor or power of their own. The degree to which these practices took place was based off the two modes of social death, intrusive and extrusive. In the intrusive mode, rituals were developed for the incorporation of an external enemy into the culture as a slave. In the extrusive mode, traditions evolved for including those who have “fallen into slavery” from within society into the slave status. Both of these modes provided a process for the institutionalization of socially dead individuals.