Goffman’s definition of stigma is “a discrepancy between actual and virtual social identity that causes us to alter our estimation of them downward.” In todays society there is often a stigma which isn’t just related to one person but to a group of people as a whole. Stigmas don’t just pop in and out for fun, but can rather be created through ones actions. In addition even though a single person’s actions may put a stigma on ones self, it does in a way start to form or characterize an opinion about a group of people as a whole. An example would be the attack on september 11. Most young children at the time would be ignorant to the idea of terrorism or the differences in race. But because of the actions of a few people(Terrorist), people would start to generate of characterize the idea that islamic people are associated with terrorism. Now younger generations growing up will have this stigma attached to them even though they have nothing to do with the actions of others. All in all stigmas can be attached to anyone or to even a group of people. Its not the way things are suppose to be but it is what society allows.
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- Nicole Hala