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Stigma Revisited

Stigma Revisited: Implications of the Mark

Stacey Hannem
Chris Bruckert
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 214
  • Book Info
    Stigma Revisited
    Book Description:

    Stigma Revisited: Implications of the Markis a collection of qualitative, empirical studies of populations who experience stigma. Discrimination, marginality and social injustice are recognized as indelibly tied to the phenomena of stigma. This volume builds on the work of Erving Goffman and integrates a larger, structural understanding of stigma based in Michel Foucault's governmentality writings.Contemporary notions of risk, riskiness and danger are linked to the labelling of "deviant" populations in the name of social control and risk management; these labels result in the institutional and systemic perpetuation of stereotypes and stigmatic attitudes. The research presented in this book addresses the individual experience of symbolic stigma as well as the collective impact of structural stigma. With unique, personal vignettes that position each of the academic contributors in relation to their subjects, this collection of essays challenges social science researchers to understand their own role in reproducing and contesting hegemonic discourses that stigmatize and marginalize.

    eISBN: 978-0-7766-2002-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)
    Chris Bruckert and Stacey Hannem

    Ervin Goffman’s seminal bookStigma(1963), published almost half a century ago, has inspired generations of students, researchers, and scholars (including the editors and contributors to this volume) who draw on the conceptual tools as they seek to “make sense” of the social world. In the last decade, we have seen an exciting body of work emerge. Authors build on the insights of those who came before them but strive to overcome the astructural bias of Goffman’s work through nuanced integrated theory, drawing on, for example gender theory (Whiteford and Gonzalez 1995; Gray 2002), Marxism (Bruckert 2002), and Foucault (Hacking...

  5. Chapter One Speaking Out Down, Out, Crazy!
    (pp. 7-9)
    Nicholas Little

    I’m not crazy,” she says in a crazed sort of way. “I’m not. I’m not crazy. Do you believe I’m not crazy?

    She’s not speaking to me. She’s speaking to a guy standing beside her at the bus stop. I’m a few feet away from them on the corner, listening while waiting to cross. I’m still trying to decide if she’s crazy and, if so, what sort of crazy she is, but his mind is evidently already made up. His two steps toward me, and away from her, tell both of us that, yes, she’s crazy. And that crazy was...

  6. Chapter Two Theorizing Stigma and the Politics of Resistance Symbolic and Structural Stigma in Everyday Life
    (pp. 10-28)
    Stacey Hannem

    The goal of this book is to examine the social phenomenon of stigma as a substantive, everyday experience, and to contextualize the lived realities of stigmatized and marginalized persons theoretically. We need to appreciate that stigma is both symbolically realized in individual interactions and structurally embedded in the cultural values, practices, and institutions of society. To realize this objective we need a new theoretical perspective. While the work of Erving Goffman (1963a) has justifiably been the authority on stigma for several generations of academics, his focus on understanding stigma as a function of interaction at the individual level is not...

  7. Chapter Three The Mark of Racialization Afghan-Canadian Men Negotiate Stigma Post-9/11
    (pp. 29-54)
    Vajmeh Tabibi and Stacey Hannem

    Prior to the events of September 11, 2001, I used to enjoy answering the question “Where are you from?” I was frequently asked this by co-workers or strangers, while waiting at bus stops, or working in a retail store. To me it was an enjoyable game and I would respond with another question: “Where do you think I am from?” They would guess several European, South American, or Middle Eastern countries and were never able to discern the country of my birth. When I would disclose that I was born in Afghanistan, I found that very few Canadians knew about...

  8. Chapter Four The Mark of “Disreputable” Labour Workin’ It: Sex Workers Negotiate Stigma
    (pp. 55-78)
    Chris Bruckert

    After abandoning high school and working at a number of minimum wage jobs, I eventually migrated into the sex industry. The job was a good, if not brilliant, fit. It provided me with adequate money, a pleasant work environment, great colleagues, and independence. Four years later, I drifted into other jobs and eventually into university. My time in the sex industry was not particularly significant—nor was it my identity any more than waitressing or sales clerking or telemarketing or cleaning hotel rooms or teaching university. That said, for many years I edited my biography to omit this specific part...

  9. Chapter Five The Mark of Sexual Deviance What Keeps Men Who Have Sex with Men Up at Night?
    (pp. 79-94)
    Kevin Walby

    Men carry around numerous secrets

    about the touching encounters they have with others.

    We cannot share such stories

    about touching other men. When the stories are leaked,

    when the story gets out, it’s over. Pigeonholed.

    All of a sudden, the story is out of their hands.

    I know many men keeping secrets.

    They want to talk. They want to confess.

    But they do not know anyone who would listen without injurious judgment.

    Some have big secrets.

    They are getting married, having kids. I receive wedding invitations—

    them standing in a suit on some picturesque bluff

    beside a picturesque bride in...

  10. Chapter Six The Mark of Association Transferred Stigma and the Families of Male Prisoners
    (pp. 95-117)
    Stacey Hannem

    In August of 2006, shortly after beginning my PhD research, I was invited by the women who attended a family support program to accompany them at a candlelight memorial vigil on “Prisoners’ Justice Day.” This day of remembrance was established by incarcerated prisoners to honour the memory of those who have died in prison, whether due to violence, neglect, or natural causes. The women—wives and mothers of prisoners—and a few children, spent the late afternoon constructing placards and posters describing the cause and listing the names of prisoners who had died inside the walls of the penitentiary. The...

  11. Chapter Seven The Stigma of Mental Illness “Slashing” and Managing the Stigma of a Scarred Body
    (pp. 118-137)
    Jennifer M. Kilty

    It was night—snowy, dark, and cold—a typical Canadian winter evening. I was twenty years old and living with four other young women while attending university and working towards my undergraduate degree. We had been drinking prior to going to the local neighbourhood pub, and we continued to drink throughout the evening while at the bar. Maloney and I shared a bathroom in the downstairs part of our large two-floor apartment. I was tired when we returned home from the bar, and I remember desperately wanting to get into the bathroom to brush my teeth so that I could...

  12. Chapter Eight Speaking Out On Being a Nigger
    (pp. 138-146)
    Charles Huckelbury Jr.

    Notwithstanding recent attempts to depict race as an artificial construct of governing bodies, I consider myself white. Sixty-four years ago, I was born into an upper-middle class family that traces its roots to northern European immigrants who entered this country not long after the Mayflower landed at Plymouth. I did not question in my formative years, and do not question now, the gifts endowed by nature and the abilities honed by nurture that have enabled those of European decent to, in effect, decide for better or worse, the fate of the planet on which we live. I came of age...

  13. Chapter Nine The Mark of Criminality Rejections and Reversals, Disclosure and Distance: Stigma and the Ex-Prisoner
    (pp. 147-169)
    Melissa Munn

    There has never been a time when my life was not touched by the criminalization of a family member or friend. When I was a young girl I sat with my mother as she wrote a letter to her imprisoned younger brother. She typed her notes onto pink cue cards and taped them together accordion style—she wanted to make him laugh and, perhaps more importantly, remind him that he was not forgotten. When I was a pre-teen, Dad and I stopped at Canadian Tire to get some car parts before picking up his best friend at the Don Jail...

  14. Chapter Ten Speaking Out A Poem and a Conversation
    (pp. 170-175)
    “Crazzy” Dave Dessler and Jean E. Boulay

    Just walk on by me, Not hearing what is said

    Just totally ignore me, I might as well be dead,

    I could sit here all day, well into the dark of nite,

    It doesn’t mean you’ll see me, You don’t have the insight.

    I don’t have a job,

    Or anywhere to live,

    I try not to be obnoxious,

    And say thank you when people give.

    I really don’t want 2B here,

    Begging in this way,

    So a kind act or word,

    Could really make my day.

    Not all of us are drunkards,

    Or addicts or Insane in the head,


  15. Chapter Eleven Concluding Thoughts Academic Activism: A Call to Action
    (pp. 176-182)
    Stacey Hannem and Chris Bruckert

    The situations and experiences presented in this book vary widely, however, the substantive themes are recurring: marginalized groups are profoundly affected by stigma at both the interpersonal and structural levels; individuals find themselves grappling with the effects of stereotype and stigma on their interactions with others and on their understandings of themselves; technologies of the self are employed to manage stigma and to resist the implications of its constraints, and even the most conscious social actors are not immune to the deeply embedded social constructs that condition our understanding of the world and lead to out-group divisions, prejudice and discrimination....

  16. References
    (pp. 183-197)
  17. Contributors
    (pp. 198-200)
  18. Index
    (pp. 201-204)