FINAL - Chapter 7: Stigma and Identity Stigma something...

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Chapter 7: Stigma and Identity Stigma something that makes you different from somebody else - A person who is stigmatized is a person who possesses a devalued social identity, or membership in some social category, that serves to discredit the person in the eyes of others Goffman suggests that there are 3 types of stigmatizing conditions 1. Tribal Stigmas- which are familial and passed from generation to generation and include membership in devalued racial, ethnic, or religious groups 2. Abomination of the body- include physical handicaps and deformities, disfiguring conditions, and obesity 3. Blemished of Individual character- devalued social identities related to one’s personality or behaviour (i.e. addiction, homosexuality, and imprisonment) Tribal Stigmas and abomination of the body are “ascribed” (recognized) categories of stigma, because they in most cases people have no choice in assuming them Blemishes of individual character represent “achieved” categories of stigma because these stigmas are seen as having a volitional (deliberate) component 6 Dimensions of Stigma: 1. Visibility of the stigmatizing condition (is the condition obvious or hidden?) 2. Controllability of the condition (Is the person responsible for the condition?) 3. Aesthetic qualities of the stigma (is the condition ugly or repulsive?) 4. Prognosis of the stigmatized condition (What is the ultimate outcome of the condition?) 5. Danger posed by the person (is the condition threatening to others?) 6. the degree of social disruptiveness (Does the condition hinder social interaction?) These dimensions are useful in allowing us to understand the complexities that define any stigmatizing attribute. highly negative stigmas are those that are visible, aesthetically displeasing, dangerous to others, and disruptive of social interaction due to avoidance or awkwardness. Visibility Stigmatizing conditions that are immediately visible (race, gender, obesity, physical disabilities, disfiguring conditions) may be especially likely to assume a “master status” in the sense that these attributes may overwhelm judgments made about a person Because a visibly stigmatizing attribute discredits a person before an encounter even begins, visibly stigmatized persons must think and worry about how others will react to the stigma recruited college women to play the role of a disfigured person in an interaction with another participant. These women were lead to believe that the purpose of the experiment was to determine how others reacted to a facial scar. The women were then given a fake scar with makeup. In reality, the real purpose was to see how the women themselves, when made to feel stigmatized, would perceive others’ behaviour toward them. The makeup artists showed them their fake scar but then without the womn knowing, removed it.
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These women, thinking that the person they were talking to thought they had a scar, felt and behaved more negatively during the interaction, even though there was no visible
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2008 for the course PSYCH 112 taught by Professor Cummins during the Winter '08 term at UWO.

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FINAL - Chapter 7: Stigma and Identity Stigma something...

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