Being Middle Eastern living in America after the tragedy of September 11th, 2001, there is a negative stereotype associated with being a terrorist. Goffman’s stigma theory states “is a discrepancy between actual and virtual social identity that causes us to alter our estimation of them downward.” It discusses circumstances where a Middle Eastern individual is walking through the mall 1 year post-911 and comes to the realization he’s being followed by a security guard. This security guard followed him into the bathroom and violates his privacy while the individual uses the urinal. This also discusses Goffman’s labeling theory which shows “how public labeling, or branding, as deviant, has adverse consequences for further social participation and self-image.” The wrongful actions of a small group of individuals performing terrorist acts is causing the entire Middle Eastern community being labeled as deviants.
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- Nicole Hala