Blog #1: Goffman – Stigma and Stereotype

Much of Goffman’s focus was on the concept of stigma, “a process by which the reaction of others spoils normal identity.” The idea based around a person’s virtual and actual social identities and how they can often come into harmful conflict with one another. This, unfortunately for those it affects, is not due to some inherent flaw in the person’s character but rather the result of some discrepancy between themselves and their society’s cultural norms.

To no fault of their own, a person will often be thought of or treated differently from others for being different from what another considers the norm. What this is, is in some ways the logical end into stereotyping. The stigma attached to a group or some form of identifier and in some way, transforms into the stereotype.

What then occurs is a series of assumptions about character becoming interconnected and then unified under one banner of a stereotype.

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One response to “Blog #1: Goffman – Stigma and Stereotype

  1. The transition from stigma to stereotypes all ties down to the social construction of society. Those who maintain high power or control over societal views arrange stigmas and stereotypes to their advantage. Therefore, those who fall under inferior to the upper society is because of the societal norms created to cause this effect. It becomes a chain of events or a vicious cycle where the stigmas become stereotypes and it is passed on from generation to generation. So, regardless of whether an individual fits the stereotype or not, if the entire population falls under that category then the individual will too. This results into different treatments and less opportunities and advantages in society.

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