I think that sociologist Goffman’s theory about stigma’s and the way society groups different individuals into seperate categories based on typical attributes is so true and is a recurring problem today in our society. Sadly “labeling” is something that happens constantly and it’s almost like automatic thinking and people just do it unconsciously. We place labels on everyone for every reason possible, we stereotype and categorize people and I think we”re all guilty of doing it unfortunately. Goffman’s theory on “mixed contacts” I believe was very interesting because I have actually been in these types of situations. Mixed contacts is when a normal person and a stigmatized person come into physical contact with each other and it becomes awkward so both people try to avoid the situation, it’s like that person knows that you know and you know that they know that you know so its just a really awkward and uncomfortable situation so both parties try to avoid each other and usually the stigmatized person tends to isolation. I think every person has encountered situations in which this has happened and I think that they way Goffman deconstructs the psychological way that this commom thing happens in very interesting and easy to understand. This has happened to me before when I went out with an unemployed friend, and when the bill arrived I offered to pay because I knew they weren’t working and thought it would be a nice gesture and that person became really offended and then it just got really awkward.. Last time I went out with that person. I think that situations like these happen all the time and I think it’s awesome that I was able to learn and understand this from a sociological perspective.
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- Nicole Hala