The Discredited and theDiscreditableDiscredited: obviousdiscrepancy between individual’sactual social identity and virtual one is.Ex: AmputeeDiscreditable: differentness not immediatelyapparent.Ex: Ex-Convict, sexuality
Social Information Social information: characteristics conveyed by a person, through bodily expression, may confirm what other signs tell us about the individual. Symbols: signs that convey social information.Ex: club membership buttons. Status symbol: establishes claim to desirable class position, honor.Ex: Owning a Ferrari Stigma symbol: draw attention to a debasing identity discrepancy, leads to reduction of individual’s value. Ex: an educated middle class person repeatedly mispronouncing a word.
Social InformationDisidentifiers: breaks up a positive coherentpresentation of person.Ex: eloquent speech of a prison inmate.Possible for signs to mean different things to differentgroups.Ex: tattoos; “cool” for youth, parents may think otherwise.Venous stigmata: can create unjustified suspicions.Ex: distended capillaries on cheek and nose, can indicatealcoholism BUT those who do not drink can exhibit these forother physiological reasons.Social identify of who an individual is “with” can informothers’ opinion of his social identity.Ex: If a person spends time with “jocks,” they may be seen as anathlete as well.
VisibilityHow stigma is adapted to show, or not show, that the individualpossesses it.Ex: ex-mental patients do not have visible stigma; the blind are easilyvisible.Three notions that are often confused with concept ofvisibility:1. must be distinguished from its “known-about-ness”2. must be distinguished from obtrusiveness; how much does stigma interfere with fluidity of interaction?3. visibility of stigma (as well as obtrusiveness) must be disentangled from certain possibilities of “perceived focus” Ex: ugliness (stigma focused on social situations) vs. diabetes (no initial effect on face-to-face interaction qualifications).
Personal IdentityStigma management does not simply pertain to interactionswith strangers, or public life.Breaking through: individual with stigma attempts to reach personal level wherestigma is not a crucial factor, hopefully develop normalization contact withnormals.Ex: my sister’s visible physical disability becomes normalized to herclassmates as the school year progresses.Familiarity may not reduce contempt.Ex: white people living in the presence of people of color may maintain their racialprejudices.Historical and societal expectations and standardizations come into play.Individual’s intimates may also be “put off” by stigma.Ex: homosexuals concealing their sexuality from their families.Some stigmas only effect intimates because it can hide from strangers andacquaintances.Ex: having an STD is not apparent to the public, but one’s sexual partner has toknow.
Personal IdentityUniqueness: each member in a small,long-standing social circle has unique/defining characteristics.Individual can be differentiated from all others,single continuous record of social facts can be attached.Personal identity Aspects:1. Positive marks/identity pegs.2. Unique combination of life history attempts that are attached to individualCan also acquire a personal identity not their “own.”Ex: scarring fingertips, re-namingName is common, but not reliable, way of fixing identity.Documentation: allow no error or ambiguity, safeguard against potentialmisrepresentation of social identity.
Discussion Questions• How do you believe the notions of “discredited” and “discreditable” have changed with the increasingly popularity of the internet and online communities?• Do you think it would be easier to live with a “discredited” or “discreditable” stigma?
Chapter 2Information Control and Personal Identity - "Passing": (pp. 73-91)Group: Oprah Winfrey Does Porn
Double Life http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qLe9OKCxTQ
Discussion-What types of deviance are most relevant to Goffman’s ideas on “passing”? For what types of deviance is “passing” as normal not an option?-Do you think "passing" is something we all do to some extent?
Chapter 2: Information Control & Personal Identity (pp. 95-104) The Screaming O’s (Group 3)
Discuss...Why cover, as opposed to pass?Can you think of instances when a stigmatized individual feels above passing because he/she feels their self-acceptance & self- respect negate the need to conceal their failing?
Stigma: Chapter 3Group Alignment & Ego IdentityBy: The San Fernando Valley All-Stars
Identity: Social, Personal, & Ego • Social and personal identity are made up by other peoples concerns and definitions • Personal identity can begin to be constructed before an individual is born and even after that person is buried • Ego identity must be felt by the individual whose
Ambivalence• Those stigmatized feel • Concern with in-group a tendency to stratify purification: efforts of their "own" according to stigmatized people to the degree to which not only "normify" their their stigma is apparent own conduct, but that• More identity of others in the group ambivalence when own too. kind is behaving in a • Nearing: When an stereotyped way individual comes close to an undesirable instance of his own kind while with a normal
Professional Presentations- There exists a self-contradiction of individuals who think they arent any different from everyone else, while they and others realize that they are somehow different.- Deviants are warned against passing completely, but also warned against fully accepting their own negative attitudes toward them.
Minstrelization- Deviants are warned against minstrelization, "acting out before normals, the full dance of bad qualities" http://youtu.be/nBmNcy4zZNU
Normification/De-minstrelizaton- Deviants are also warned against normification/deminstrelization, "acting overly normal in from of normals, so that they are perceived as nice people, despite their deviance"
2 Implications of these "codes"1. It can cause those who are deviant to become overly conscious of social situations, so they are observers, not participants.2. This type of advice deals candidly with very private matters, as acts of deviance tend to be personal.
In-Group Alignments• The spokesman for the group of like-minded individuals says that this• is the individuals only “true” group This group is comprised of individuals who have experienced the same• type of stigma If the individual turns to his group he is characterized as loyal and•• authentic If the individual turns away from the group he is a fool and a traitor One consequence of having an in-group standpoint is the rise of• militant ideology The militant individual will give praise to his groups special and often stereotypical attributes while favoring a secessionist ideology from the normals
Out-Group Alignment•Stigmatized individuals vs. the “normal” population–Stigmatized individual should see himself as a complete human being, with the ability to fulfill “ordinary standards”•The stigmatized individual should not feel resentful towards themselves or the normal population
Out-Group Alignment Cont…•Focus on a balance of downplaying one’s stigma, while giving it enough validity so normal people don’t feel uncomfortable about it•Good Adjustment – Requires that the stigmatized individual cheerfully and unselfconsciously accept himself as essentially the same as normals, while at the same time he voluntarily withholds himself from those situations in which normals would find it difficult to give lip service to their similar acceptance of him.” - 121
The Politics of Identity• As a result of the misalignment between the in-group and the out-group the stigmatized views himself as "different" even when he is a member of the wider group.• This leads to a state of semi-acceptance within the social group which adds confusion to ones ego identity.
Discussion Questions• What is the difference between "In-Group" and "Out-Group" Alignment?• What do you think are some good examples of "Good Adjustment?"
Stigma by Erving GoffmanChapter 4: The Self and Its Other XOXO, JAVIER SLAMM AND THE PEENYWHACKERS
Deviations and Norms• Stigmatized vs. normal: everyone is at once stigmatized and normal from different/various perspectives (ex: Miley Cyrus smoking legal drug salvia, friends find it normal, stigmatized by public)• Failure/Success of achieving/maintaining norms of identity has a huge impact on individuals psychological well-being (ex:person has physical disorder out of their control...can make them depressed, they cannot control it so they feel helpless)
Deviations and Norms• Identity norms breed both deviations and conformity (ex: appropriate party attire…most people dress up a little or a lot -conformists- but some wear sloppy or revealing clothes and are stigmatized -deviants-)• Focus on ordinary deviations from the common, not uncommon deviations from the ordinary
Deviations and Norms• Cooperation between deviants and normals: normals ignore, respect, or pass over deviant behaviors/traits, and deviants dont push the boundaries of acceptance from normals (most people do anything to avoid awkward situations)• Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2JBjEtNSSc
Deviations and Norms• Impression management: individual controls image that he/she portrays to others or wants others to see• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlOoCwZQvMg• Also "passing" and "covering"
The Normal Deviant• Stigma management occurs wherever there are identity norms.• Even when an individual is deviant, he or she often has normal concerns about it.• Individual employs normal strategies in attempting to conceal it.• e.g. Someone likes to sleep naked, doesnt tell friends, wears pjs during sleepovers
The Normal Deviant• Deviant leaders act respective to their environments.• e.g. Performance.
Stigma and Reality• Stigmatized and normal are a part of each other… they aren’t people, they are perspectives generated in social situations• The stigmatized can: • Pass for fun • Play games • Give brief responses • A cold stare• Every individual participates in both roles (normal and stigmatized)
Stigma and Reality• Different types of stigma have different functions • Stigmatization of those with bad moral record serves as a means of formal social control • Stigmatization of certain racial, religious and ethnic groups functions as a means of removing these minorities from various avenues of competition
Discussion Question• What is more important to focus on, the norms themselves or the deviations from those norms?
Uses of Goffman’s WorkStigma paved way for studies on:1. Groups of stigmatized populations2. Groups categorized by symbols of stigma3. “Minor” bodily stigmas
Reactions / Criticisms“So inclusive as to be uninformative” (Cahill & Eggleston, 1995)
Discussion Questions• How do you believe the notions of “discredited” and “discreditable” have changed with the increasingly popularity of the internet and online communities?• Do you think it would be easier to live with a “discredited” or “discreditable” stigma?• Why cover, as opposed to pass?
Discussion Questions• Can you think of instances when a stigmatized individual feels above passing because he/she feels their self- acceptance & self-respect negate the need to conceal their failing?• What is the difference between "In-Group" and "Out-Group" Alignment?• What do you think are some good examples of "Good Adjustment?”
Discussion Questions• What is more important to focus on, the norms themselves or the deviations from those norms?• Must individuals always manage their stigma?• What about stigmas that are “minor” or only known or imagined to individual?
Discussion Questions• Rather focus on stigmatized individuals, should we address “normals” in order to reduce stigma?• How can we challenge institutionalization and criminalization of stigmatized identities and experiences?
Thank You!• Student Presentations• Spring 2012• SOC260 Deviance• Occidental College• Professor Danielle Dirks• http://deviance.iheartsociology.com