Goffman Stigma (1963)


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Goffman Stigma (1963)

  1. 1. 4/6/12 Erving Goffmans Stigma Student Presentations SOC260 Deviance // Occidental College Chapter 1 Stigmata StigmataStigmata: Bodily Signs Virtual v Actual Identity Stigmata Stigmata Physical Character The "Normals" Tribal 1
  2. 2. 4/6/12 Stigmata Stigmata... and the Stigmatized Mixed Contacts StigmaAttribute that is deeply discreditingSpecial relationship between attribute and stereotype STIGMA Chapter 2 GROUP: Beyonce on a Leash Social InformationThe Discredited and the Social information: characteristics conveyed byDiscreditable a person, through bodily expression, may confirm what other signs tellDiscredited: obvious discrepancy between individual’s us about the individual.actual social identity and virtual one is.Ex: Amputee Symbols: signs that convey social information.Ex: clubDiscreditable: differentness not immediately membership buttons.apparent.Ex: Ex-Convict, sexuality 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. 2
  3. 3. 4/6/12Social InformationDisidentifiers: breaks up a positive coherent Visibilitypresentation of person.Ex: eloquent speech of a prison inmate.Possible for signs to mean different things to different How stigma is adapted to show, or not show, that the individualgroups. possesses it.Ex: tattoos; “cool” for youth, parents may think otherwise. Ex: ex-mental patients do not have visible stigma; the blind are easily visible.Three notions that are often confused with concept ofVenous stigmata: can create unjustified suspicions. visibility:Ex: distended capillaries on cheek and nose, can indicate 1.  must be distinguished from its “known-about-ness”alcoholism BUT those who do not drink can exhibit these forother physiological reasons. 2.  must be distinguished from obtrusiveness; how much does stigma interfere with fluidity of interaction?Social identify of who an individual is “with” can inform 3.  visibility of stigma (as well as obtrusiveness) must be disentangledothers’ opinion of his social identity. from certain possibilities of “perceived focus”Ex: If a person spends time with “jocks,” they may be seen as an Ex: ugliness (stigma focused on social situations) vs. diabetes (noathlete as well. initial effect on face-to-face interaction qualifications).Personal Identity Personal Identity Uniqueness: each member in a small,Stigma management does not simply pertain to interactions long-standing social circle has unique/defining characteristics.with strangers, or public life.Breaking through: individual with stigma attempts to reach personal level where Individual can be differentiated from all others,stigma is not a crucial factor, hopefully develop normalization contact with single continuous record of social facts can be attached.normals.Ex: my sister’s visible physical disability becomes normalized to herclassmates as the school year progresses. Personal identity Aspects:Familiarity may not reduce contempt. 1.  Positive marks/identity pegs.Ex: white people living in the presence of people of color may maintain their racialprejudices. 2.  Unique combination of life history attempts that are attached to individualHistorical and societal expectations and standardizations come into play.Individual’s intimates may also be “put off” by stigma. Can also acquire a personal identity not their “own.”Ex: homosexuals concealing their sexuality from their families. Ex: scarring fingertips, re-namingSome stigmas only effect intimates because it can hide from strangers and Name is common, but not reliable, way of fixing identity.acquaintances.Ex: having an STD is not apparent to the public, but one’s sexual partner has to Documentation: allow no error or ambiguity, safeguard against potential misrepresentation of social identity.know. Chapter 2Discussion Questions Information Control and Personal Identity -•  How do you believe the notions of “discredited” and "Passing": (pp. 73-91) “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? Group: Oprah Winfrey Does Porn 3
  4. 4. 4/6/12 Double Life Secret Alcoholism http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/health/your_health&id=8547183 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qLe9OKCxTQ Discussion-What types of deviance are most relevant to Chapter 2: Information Control & Goffman’s ideas on “passing”? For what Personal Identity types of deviance is “passing” as normal not (pp. 95-104) an option?-Do you think "passing" is something we all do to some extent? The Screaming O’s (Group 3) Information Control •  Conceal stigma markers Informational Control & •  http://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-and-beauty/ Covering how-to-hide-a-tattoo.aspx 4
  5. 5. 4/6/12 Information Control Information Control•  Disidentifiers •  Passing on associated services Information Control Information Control•  Presenting stigma identifiers as less •  Division of social contacts discredited stigma http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LOzMtI6RCM Information Control Information Control•  Keeping distance and control of •  Voluntary disclosure contact with stigmatized group http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiZ75B3uFxM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ27LeAZOus 5
  6. 6. 4/6/12 Covering Covering •  Concern over stigma markers•  Reducing effect of one’s stigma [same as informational control]•  Covering uses many of the same tactics as informational control Covering Covering•  Hiding and overcoming typical failings •  Formation of social institutions associated with the stigma Discuss...Why cover, as opposed to pass? Stigma:Can you think of instances when a stigmatized Chapter 3 individual feels above passing because he/ Group Alignment & she feels their self-acceptance & self- respect negate the need to conceal their Ego Identity failing? By: The San Fernando Valley All-Stars 6
  7. 7. 4/6/12 Identity: Social, Personal, & Ego Ambivalence •  Social and personal •  Those stigmatized feel •  Concern with in-group identity are made up by a tendency to stratify purification: efforts of other peoples concerns their "own" according to stigmatized people to and definitions the degree to which not only "normify" their their stigma is apparent own conduct, but that •  Personal identity can •  More identity of others in the group begin to be constructed ambivalence when own too. before an individual is kind is behaving in a •  Nearing: When an born and even after that stereotyped way individual comes close to an undesirable person is buried instance of his own •  Ego identity must be felt kind while with a by the individual whose normal identity is at question Professional Presentations Minstrelization- There exists a self-contradiction of individuals who - Deviants are warned against think they arent any different from everyone else, minstrelization, "acting out before normals, while they and others realize that they are somehow the full dance of bad qualities" different.- Deviants are warned against passing completely, but also warned against fully accepting their own negative attitudes toward them. http://youtu.be/nBmNcy4zZNU Normification/De-minstrelizaton 2 Implications of these "codes"- Deviants are also warned against normification/ 1. It can cause those who are deviant to deminstrelization, "acting overly normal in from of become overly conscious of social normals, so that they are perceived as nice people, despite their deviance" 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. 7
  8. 8. 4/6/12 In-Group Alignments In-Group Alignment Example•  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 Out-Group Alignment Cont…•Stigmatized individuals vs. the “normal” •Focus on a balance of downplaying one’s stigma, population while giving it enough validity so normal people don’t feel uncomfortable about it –Stigmatized individual should see himself as •Good Adjustment – Requires that the stigmatized a complete human being, with the ability to individual cheerfully and unselfconsciously fulfill “ordinary standards” accept himself as essentially the same as•The stigmatized individual should not feel normals, while at the same time he voluntarily resentful towards themselves or the withholds himself from those situations in normal population which normals would find it difficult to give lip service to their similar acceptance of him.” - 121 The Politics of Identity Discussion Questions•  As a result of the misalignment between •  What is the difference between "In-Group" the in-group and the out-group the and "Out-Group" Alignment? stigmatized views himself as "different" •  What do you think are some good even when he is a member of the wider examples of "Good Adjustment?" group.•  This leads to a state of semi-acceptance within the social group which adds confusion to ones ego identity. 8
  9. 9. 4/6/12 Deviations and Norms Stigma by Erving Goffman •  Stigmatized vs. normal: everyone is at once stigmatized and normal from different/various perspectives (ex: Miley Cyrus smoking legal drug Chapter 4: The Self and Its Other salvia, friends find it normal, stigmatized by public) •  Failure/Success of achieving/maintaining norms of XOXO, JAVIER SLAMM AND THE PEENYWHACKERS 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 Deviations and Norms•  Identity norms breed both deviations and conformity •  Cooperation between deviants and normals: normals (ex: appropriate party attire…most people dress up a ignore, respect, or pass over deviant behaviors/traits, little or a lot -conformists- but some wear sloppy or and deviants dont push the boundaries of revealing clothes and are stigmatized -deviants-) acceptance from normals (most people do anything•  Focus on ordinary deviations from the common, not to avoid awkward situations) uncommon deviations from the ordinary •  Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2JBjEtNSSc Deviations and Norms The Normal Deviant•  Impression management: individual controls image •  Stigma management occurs wherever there are that he/she portrays to others or wants others to see identity norms.•  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlOoCwZQvMg •  Even when an individual is deviant, he or she often has normal concerns about it.•  Also "passing" and "covering" •  Individual employs normal strategies in attempting to conceal it. •  e.g. Someone likes to sleep naked, doesnt tell friends, wears pjs during sleepovers 9
  10. 10. 4/6/12 The Normal Deviant Stigma and Reality•  Deviant leaders act respective to their environments. •  Stigmatized and normal are a part of each other…•  e.g. Performance. 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 Discussion Question•  Different types of stigma have different functions •  What is more important to focus on, the norms •  Stigmatization of those with bad moral record serves as a themselves or the deviations from those norms? 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 Chapter 5 and Conclusion Uses of Goffman’s Work Deviations Stigma paved way for studies on: Deviants 1. Groups of stigmatized populations 2. Groups categorized by symbols of stigma 3. “Minor” bodily stigmas 10
  11. 11. 4/6/12 Reactions / Criticisms Discussion Questions“So inclusive as to be uninformative” • How do you believe the notions of (Cahill & Eggleston, 1995) “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 Discussion Questions• Can you think of instances when a • What is more important to focus on, the stigmatized individual feels above passing norms themselves or the deviations from because he/she feels their self- those norms? acceptance & self-respect negate the • Must individuals always manage their need to conceal their failing? stigma?• What is the difference between "In-Group" • What about stigmas that are “minor” or and "Out-Group" Alignment? only known or imagined to individual?• What do you think are some good examples of "Good Adjustment?” Discussion Questions Thank You!• Rather focus on stigmatized individuals, • Student Presentations should we address “normals” in order to • Spring 2012 reduce stigma? • SOC260 Deviance• How can we challenge institutionalization and criminalization of stigmatized • Occidental College identities and experiences? • Professor Danielle Dirks • http://deviance.iheartsociology.com 11