The permissive socio-political environment embedded in Cambodian history and society differs from that found in Germany. Moreover, the lack of integrative interaction among groups in Cambodian society occurred within a relatively homogeneous community of Khmers, apart from the minority Vietnamese, Chinese, and Cham Muslim communities. Unequal and exclusionary patterns were thus pervasive in Cambodian society. The rigid hierarchical economic and social structures characteristic of Khmer society generated and reinforced inter-group separation, fostering an environment of societal fragmentation along socio-economic, regional, and ethnic lines. Societal fragmentation revealed itself in social relationships and social structures in family and kinship ties, village life, and socio-economic stratification across an ever-widening urban-rural divide that was in part generated and reinforced by the education system. Cultural barriers to inter-group solidarity, trust, and tolerance were compounded by emerging antipathies between Cambodians in the cities and the majority of poor peasants, spawned by the uneven development of national education and the urban and rural economies.