Being A Stigmatized Person By Sociologist Erving Goffman Essay

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The idea of stigma and what it is like to be a stigmatized person was conducted by sociologist Erving Goffman. He analyzed how stigmatized individuals feel about themselves and their relationships with people that are considered “normal”. Stigmatized individuals are people who are not socially accepted and are constantly eager to alter their social identifies: physically deformed people, mentally ill patients, drug addicts, homosexuals, etc. Goffman looks at variety of strategies when it comes to stigmatized individuals, especially ones that deal with rejection from others. Stigma: Notes on the Management of a Spoiled Identity was published in 1963 and in the first chapter the book, Goffman determines the three types of stigma; stigma of character traits, physical stigma, and stigma of group identity. Stigma of character traits are “blemishes of individual character perceived as weak will, domineering, or unnatural passions, treacherous and rigid beliefs, and dishonesty, these being inferred from a known record of, for example, mental disorder, imprisonment, addiction, alcoholism, homosexuality, unemployment, suicidal attempts, and radical political behavior” (Goffman, 1963). Physical stigma is the deformities of the body, whereas the stigma of group identity is a stigma that derives from a particular race, nation and/or religion. These three types of stigma have one thing in common, their sociological features: “an individual who might have been received in normal social
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