[in-vizuh-buh l]

not visible; not perceptible by the eye:

invisible fluid.

withdrawn from or out of sight; hidden:

an invisible seam.

not perceptible or discernible by the mind:

invisible differences.

not ordinarily found in financial statements or reflected in statistics or a listing:

Goodwill is an invisible asset to a business.

concealed from public knowledge.

an invisible thing or being.

the invisible, the unseen or spiritual world.

Social invisibility

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Social invisibility occurs when, to a material degree, the social network that would ordinarily bind a group to the larger society is inadvertently or intentionally pruned, ultimately leaving the subgroup as a social “island”.[citation needed] The social influence of a group subject to invisibility is diminished, much like the position of untouchables in a caste society.

Social invisibility also refers to individuals who have been marginalized and are systematically overlooked by the wider public and in effect made as if invisible. It can include homeless people, the elderly, minorities, migrant workers,[1] or anyone who experiences a sense of exclusion from society as a whole.

Psychological consequences

Social invisibility is the subjective experience of being unseen by others in a social environment. A sense of disconnectedness from the surrounding world is often experienced by invisible people. This disconnectedness can lead to absorbed coping and breakdowns, based on the asymmetrical relationship between someone made invisible and others.[2]

Among African American men, invisibility can often take the form of a psychological process which both deals with the stress of racialized invisibility, and the choices made in becoming visible within a social framework that predetermines these choices. In order to become visible and gain acceptance, an African American man has to avoid adopting behavior that made him invisible in the first place, which intensifies the stress already brought on through racism.[3]

See also



Franklin, Anderson; Boyd-Franklin, Nancy (2000). “Invisibility Syndrome: A Clinical Model of the Effects of Racism on African-American Males” (PDF). American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.



vis•i•ble (vĭzˈə-bəl)

  • adj.
    Possible to see; perceptible to the eye: a visible object.
  • adj.
    Obvious to the eye: a visible change of expression.
  • adj.
    Being often in the public view; conspicuous.


in•vis•i•ble (ĭn-vĭzˈə-bəl)

  • adj.
    Impossible to see; not visible: Air is invisible.
  • adj.
    Not accessible to view; hidden: mountain peaks invisible in the fog.
  • adj.
    Not easily noticed or detected; inconspicuous: “The poor are politically invisible” ( Michael Harrington).