Post #5 Stigma

Last class we discussed about “Stigma”. Goffman definition of stigma is “a discrepancy between actual and virtual social identity that causes us to alter our estimation of them downward”. In other words, stigma is someone’s action that devastates normal identity in a society, culture, etc. Stigma is considered as an attribute that is intensely degrading; in fact there is a strong relationship between attribute and stereotype. I chose a good example given in class to describe this relationship of attribute and stereotype ” A middle class boy may have no problem being seen going to the library whereas a gang member may worry about being seen by his associates”.

Stigma has changed overtime. In my country Dominican Republic for example if you had a tattoo you were considered as a criminal or delinquent. However more and more people now are having tattoos and the stigma about it has changed, although the old generation will always be more opposed to it. Stigmas differ around the world; as compared to my country having a tattoo here in the U.S.A is considered something more normal and even as something “pretty and meaningful”.

There are two kinds of stigma, one is discredited and one is discreditable. Discredited stigma focuses on attention and is something that is obvious and known as a physical disability or an inability to read; while discreditable stigma focuses on managing information and something we cannot know about it, for example a heart disease or a psychological problem can pass as normal (no known) which is known as “passing”.

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One response to “Post #5 Stigma

  1. I understand about the tattoo aspect being stigmatize. I know that piercing was one of those that bad people like to do and if you have a lot then that mean you associate with them. I know that stigma can hurt people and those people become what society states they are. I know that Goffman mentioned that there are people that becomes what society stigmatize them. It is interesting that in DR they see people with tattoo bad and I know in American movies portray the bad guys with tattoos – so I believe this is another way we stigmatize people with tattoo.
    I think we do that today. I mean I know for a fact when a girl is dressing to the point where she is showing too much skin is portrayed as a prostitute. (I mean I grew up not showing too much skin or do not grab attention that you are not asking from people) Anyways I like the fact that we are able to pass in society by changing the way they look or dress or even try to learn new ways to blend in the trend of today.

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