Stigma Research Paper

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The term “Stigma” originated from Greek refers to a person who was bodily stained with deformities and being belittled by the society (USAID, 2006). While Cooke and Philpin (2008), Andrewin and Chien (2008) and Weiiss et al. (2006) as citied from Goffman (1963) persistently defines stigma as an individual with negative attributes or unique characteristics that is depreciated and disgraced from the public’s perspective. Scambler (2008) adding on to Goffman’s (1963) definition of stigma explains that stigma is an “ontological deficit”. Whereby people who are stigmatized acquires defects that are beyond their capacity to control or correct, hence they are regarded as imperfect individuals. Scambler (2008) further explains that stigma is spilt…show more content…
Fife and Wright (2000) argues that the concept of stigma has many underlying factors that are not expressed and experienced in common ways. But in ways which are complex, both subtly and overtly. The individual's experience of stigma is highly subjective. This subjectivity runs on two levels, firstly that of the medical or psychological condition which sets the base of the stigma, and secondly how the society an individual is present in perceives the above-mentioned condition. Cooke and Philpin (2008, p.200) as cited from Goffman (1963) explains that the three main types of stigma includes “physical stigma” which refers to irregular body formation and skin discoloration, stigma of flaws in “individual/personal character” examples like an individual with mental health issues or criminal behavior, lastly “social stigma” which depend on the individual or group’s race, culture or association. Guma (2011) points out that social control by a dominant group over a perceived socially inferior segment of the population manifests itself in the form of a devaluing process - stigma. Stigma is constructed based on an individual's social and/or physical characteristics. These characteristics are perceived to pose a danger to societal values or the fabric of the community. It is this fear of the deviant that lies at the heart of stigma. This irrational fear may be attributed of a lack of understanding of this specific segment of…show more content…
The society is a huge influence for stigmatisation and labelling. The social response attached to the individual will cause a change of attitude or behaviour towards another individual and a person’s self-concept. In the society, those that ranked lower in social standing, practices certain culture, race or with stigmatising conditions tend to be stereotyped, faces prejudices and labelling (Hall et al.,
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