Blog #2: Stigmatization of Stigma

The word stigma itself has been stigmatized by our culture. Consider the modern usage of the word. Instead of talking about the acts of stigmatization and what is or isn’t assigned a stigma in society, we talk about the effect of the stigma. Thus the perspective shifts to not the stigma, but rather the feelings of disgrace associated with that stigma. But we don’t even call it a stigma anymore. We say “Oh they just have a ‘problem’” or talk about how ‘weird’ or ‘off-putting’ the individual is.

The word stigma is viewed as excessively harsh by those engaging in the stigma, so rather than admit it exists they just group everything under the ideas of various stereotypes. “Stigma is a hurtful word that has no place in our society” would be the idea. And so the preferable idea is to just ‘stereotype’ people but assert to one’s self as you’re doing it that they’re not actually like that, ‘probably’.

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One response to “Blog #2: Stigmatization of Stigma

  1. Interesting post.Your thoughts about people’s reluctance to call (or “label”) something a stigma — if I’m reading you correctly — recall Goffman’s insistence that stigma is a kind of process that involves “Normals” and the stigmatized. And that when we’re forced to confront it, it’s often uncomfortable, no matter what side of the “normal-stigmatized” boundary we’re on. So we avoid such situations, much as you suggest.

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