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”.