Blog #2: Self Stigma

The most interesting thing about stigma to me is discreditable stigma. The reason is that most of the negative feelings attached to it come from oneself. When you know you are a part of a group that is stigmatized, before you even give people the chance to judge you or alienate you, you tend to alienate yourself. Some may push it even more so by having some sort of dis-identifier to set them apart from the group. Yes it is terrible to have your identity, virtual or actual, looked down upon. However, it is much worse when one looks down upon themselves.

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2 responses to “Blog #2: Self Stigma

  1. I agree with you 100%, it is truly amazing how one individual can be their own reason of their downfall. Confusing as it sounds we never consider the fact we might be alienating our self, because we think we always know what is right for ourselves. This leads into many things like depression, substance abuse and so on. So before you feel brought down take a look around and make sure the one person who you really need is by your side… if you need helping figuring out who that is look in a mirror ! .

  2. Yes, C., you highlight a complex and highly consequential dynamic of identity. Indeed, “self stigma” is one of the most impressive insights from Goffman, especially his point that we *all* do this, at some point or another. Provided we’re not sociopaths (or significantly maladjusted mentally), we all judge ourselves according to “social” standards, standards set by society. We absorb these values into our heads by being members of society. We try to filter the ideas, reject the ones that are sexist or racist or bigoted but, especially if a lot of bigoted ideas float around the culture, they can kind of seep in, and can get “activated” unconsciously, or subconsciously. This is the idea of internalization, which Gilman, DuBois, and Fanon also use in their theories.

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