Second Class Citizen Analysis

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In this assignment I am going to apply the concept of stigma that has been elaborated in Goffman’s book Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity (1963) to analyse Second-Class Citizen (1974) by Emecheta.
Emecheta’s novel Second-Class Citizen (1974) focuses on the life of a black woman Adah from her place of origin Nigeria to London, her hard experience within her familial space, and her marginalization within white British society. The book deals with the hardships of black woman, seeking the hope and possibility of a better life in London. Emecheta’s novel reveals the effects of racism and poverty on Britain black community in general, and on black women in particular.
Goffman (1963:14) describes stigma as an attribute that links
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The novel tells the story and experience of Adah, who is caught between two cultures. Even though the novel seems to be a personal comment on Adah’s struggle against the oppression of patriarchy, represented by the Ibo society and her husband, nevertheless, the novel gives an account of the conditions and difficulties encountered the Nigerian immigrants in Britain.
The role of history and social structure, as acknowledged Goffman (1963:151) is important in situations embracing racial groups. In the novel Emecheta concerns with issues of the economic hardship, racism, and the social pressures the immigrant faces as black in London. Gans (2005) and Wacquant (2001) argued that the relationship between socio-economic status and race derives from unique historical and cultural conditions (Spencer,2014:54).
A black woman faces much more marginalisation than a black man which Emecheta expressed in her book. The notion of double marginalisation of black women take place in two ways. At first, female gender remains a source of stigma in Africa. They occupy the lowest rank in their society. And secondly, in the west countries like Britain, black women are stigmatized for being a
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This type of stigma leads to discrimination. In other words, it leads to real actions that limit the rights of certain groups. For instance, both Adah and her husband Francis face racism in many situations such as in hiring their baby-sitter, in renting an apartment, in giving job interviews. The height of racism becomes unbearable when Adah finds that her sick son Vicky is being taken to a “Royal Free” hospital. Adah doubts about the hospital’s neglected treatment towards her son. She wonders if the hospital is just meant for second-class people (1974:60). Stigma as social process linked to the production of inequality and exclusion.
The tribal stigma of race is one of dominant in Emecheta’s book. For author, the experience and the subject position of black people in Britain are defined by their race. Their race denies them a British identity on the ground of their difference, which leads eventually to their
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