Child Stigma

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parenting skills and support parents in coping with extremely distressing emotions and obstacles. (Kourkoutas, et.al., 2012) The results in the study conducted by (Gray, 2002), indicate that a majority of the parents experienced both types of stigma, but that mothers were more likely to do so than fathers. It was especially true in the case of enacted stigma, where a majority of mothers, but only a minority of fathers, encountered avoidance, hostile staring and rude comments from others. The child's type of autistic symptoms was also related to the stigmatization of their parents, with parents of aggressive children more likely to experience stigma than the parents of passive children. The study also found that the distinction between felt…show more content…
Additionally, they note the more contemporary trend to focus on the “contextual and dynamic nature of stigma” (p. 3), with the basic idea that stigma is in the eye of the beholder, or dependent upon its social context. Stigma involves the relationship 4 between what is perceived about an individual and how this perception compares with socially acceptable traits or attributes for that population. Ultimately, Kando (as cited in Page, 1984) sums up the concept of stigma quite nicely: “In its most sociological sense, the term stigma can be used to refer to any attribute that is deeply discrediting and incongruous with our stereotype of what a given type of individual should be” (p. 1, emphasis…show more content…
The concept of enacted stigma is relatively straightforward, and refers to instances of overt rejection or discrimination experienced by stigmatized individuals. In contrast, felt stigma refers to feelings of shame or the fear of rejection. This distinction is significant in terms of the relationship between the interactional and biographical aspects of stigma. As previously noted, the sustaining of a ‘normal’ identity in the face of a potential courtesy stigma is inherently precarious. It is also an outcome that is achieved in an interactional context, but not limited to it because of the broader biographical nature of the relationship between the stigmatized individual and his or her associates. The distinction between enacted and felt stigma is relevant to these facts, because the experience of enacted stigma signals that the interactional context has broken down and that the individual with the courtesy stigma has failed to achieve a normal appearing round of life. The experience of felt stigma is also significant in that it refers to an individual's fear of failing to enact a normal appearing round of life, and reflects the essential precariousness of maintaining a normal identity in the face of a possible failure of

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