There are several other definitions to edges, such as periphery, outliers, fenced out, beyond the Pale, exclusionary, or Wrong side of the Tracks.
On the economic scale, the edge usually means living in poverty. For gender bias, the Old Boy’s Club works very well.
My first unknowing experience with living on the Edge, was when I was born. My parents left all tribal connections to journey to what they thought was the Golden State and in the middle of the Great Depression, California probably represented the center of Good Times, but to me it meant I had no Kissing Cousins or otherwise.
This may have been a good thing, as we had no obligations to any relative to attend reunions and eat too much.
Living in an unincorporated area like Knightsen, also made us work harder to be included in social life. We did not have a bus system, movie theaters, good restaurants, big libraries or even a telephone for twenty years. The area was farm land, and the only clubs to join were the Garden Club and Farm Bureau. The Four H was my little club, but it did not include me after I went into high school.
Country living made it hard to be included in any school activity, as there was no one to take me to dance class, or Field Hockey practice. Forget football, basketball, baseball teams.
If you were a girl in the country you were excluded.
Being a poor girl in the country was even worse. The one exclusion that lasted well into my adult life was the fact that we only had two acres of land and that was on the edge of the natural gas field that had a producing well on the other side of the road not a mile away.
My friends of childhood got shares in the oil company and still get a bit of royalties from the deal.
My in laws had the only producing well, and I had absolutely no income from that as the mineral rights were not shared out from the buyer of the farm, even though I had ownership of ten acres. Sorry kid, you can forget the royalties on your ten acres, the rich son in law gets it all.
Living on the edge is a different category, involving having to apply for food stamps, Aid to Dependent Children and free medical services. Living in the desert as I did following my divorce in 1975, I learned all the tricks of survival by not entering the center of life.
Paying rent for an apartment was out of the question, as I was not working at more than part time jobs for less than minimum wage. The counter benefits to living on the edge of civilization was that I enjoyed the great spaces and quietness of the desert from my trailer window.
We patrolled the periphery of the state parks and desert highways , picking up the aluminum cans that provided the video game money.
Never being involved with a large corporation for a salary had its’ upside in that I could take a nice long time to decide what I wanted to do when I went back for my education.
I did get a job in one of the largest library systems in New York, the Queens borough Public Library.
I lived in the outskirts of the borough in College Point, very near the water of the East River.
The closest to the center of life was making trips into Manhattan and visiting the museums, parks, and famous streets.
I still did not belong, and when it came time to retire, I moved very far out into the country of Western State New York where I bought a little house on the edge of another gas field.
All in the county had high hopes for a new drilling boom to extract the wealth underground, but today I found that there will be no boom in Chemung county, as the Governor has outlawed the practice of “Fracking”. As a result of this decision, there will be no housing boom either, so I am sidelined again, as I cannot sell my “choppy” little house.
Here in Alameda, I live on the side of the San Francisco Bay, and have learned to accept being on the periphery, and enjoying it, as being located on the edge of a big body of water means that I can go sailing where nobody can exclude me.
All I need is my own canoe to paddle!