Who is in, Who is out, and Why?


Connection and RelationshipExclusion and BelongingHeritage and TraditionIdentity and Community


Service & VolunteerismService & Civic Organizations




Kafka, Franz

Big Questions

What causes division between people and groups?How do we respond to strangers?What do people gain from joining a group? What do they lose?What does it mean to be a stranger or an outsider? What does it feel like?Who gets left out and why?How do we balance the value of tradition with the need for change?What do people gain or lose from joining a group or a community?What makes a community strong? What makes it weak?

Opening Activity

Describe a time when you tried to join a group--any kind of group--that didn't seem to want you. Why did you want to join, and why wasn't it easy to do so?

Discussion Questions

  1. What accounts for these 5 being together?
  2. Why does the sixth want to join, and why don't the five want him to join?
  3. Who is talking, and how do you know?
  4. What's the problem with long explanations?
  5. What do you make of the title of this piece?

Closing Activity

Describe a time when you were part of a group--any kind of a group--that tried to keep someone out. What was the rationale for this, and how does it strike you now?

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