Stigm Notes On The Management Of Spoiled Identity By Erving Goffman

825 Words Apr 20th, 2016 4 Pages
Since an early age we have been socialized to judge and categorized individuals based on what we see and what we consider “normal,” therefore, any deviation from that is considered something strange, unnatural which is more than likely to obtain a negative label; stigma. For the most part, first impressions are sufficient to make up our minds in regards to someone’s personality. It is this limited mindset that erases the personal attributes of individuals, and does not allow us to look behind their looks. The book Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity by Erving Goffman (1963) focuses on the concept of stigma and what it is like to be a stigmatized person. Goffman defines stigma in terms of “bodily signs designed to expose something unusual and bad about the moral status of the signifier “(1). Therefore it is through this concept of stigma the he examines what it means to be “different” from the “normal” society. According to Goffman, there are different kinds of stigmas. Some are based on physical appearance, while others are based on group identity. The reality is that some are often invisible, but others, like facial disfigurement or skin color are often the first things anyone notices about a person. Nonetheless, through the use of autobiographies and case studies Goffman analyzes stigmatized individuals and their experiences. Overall, he looks at the variety of strategies that stigmatized individuals’ use to respond to their situations, such as dealing…

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