Social stigma refers to extreme disapproval of (or discontent with) a person or group on socially characteristic grounds that are perceived, and serve to distinguish them, from other members of a society. Stigma may then be affixed to such a person, by the greater society, who differs from their cultural norms.
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- Most people with mental disorders in China never receive treatment. There is often a stigma attached to such ailments. Some think that people with psychiatric conditions are possessed by evil spirits. Many see mental disorders as a sign of weakness, and regard them as socially contagious: a relative of someone with a serious disorder may find it hard to marry. Families sometimes have their kin treated far away to hide the “shame” of their condition, or keep them hidden at home. Even many medical students worry that those working with psychiatric patients risk catching their disease, says Xu Ni of “It Gets Brighter”, a mental-health NGO in Beijing.
- Research on stigmatized groups has historically focused on people’s attitudes toward group members whose visible traits distinguish them from other individuals (Dienstbier, 1970; Dion, 1989). “Visible” traits (Dion & Kawakami, 1996) are physical characteristics immediately identifiable by sight, such as a person’s race or sex. In contrast, “invisible” traits, such as political orientation or religion, are not immediately identifiable from one’s physical appearance (Goffman, 1963). While research has primarily focused on prejudice toward visible marginalized groups, there is relatively little difference between prejudice toward visible and invisible minorities, a finding which has recently been replicated in studies of fan groups (e.g., Leshner, Reysen, Plante, Chadborn, Roberts, & Gerbasi, 2018; Reysen, Plante, Roberts, & Gerbasi, 2017). Fan identity, like political orientation or religion, is an “invisible” trait, as it is rare for a person’s physical traits to convey their fan interest. As such, unlike visible traits, fan identity can be shown at will, such as a sport fan choosing to wear a cap with their team’s logo or a music fan wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with their favorite band’s members.
- Connor Leshner, Courtney N. Plante, Stephen Reysen, Sharon E. Roberts, Kathleen C. Gerbasi "Behind Closed Doors: Hentai Fans’ Perceived Discrimination, Ingroup Identification, and Attitudes toward Subgroups in the Anime Fandom", (December 2018).
- Joe Louis and I were the first modern national sports figures who were black... But neither of us could do national advertising because the South wouldn't buy it. That was the social stigma we lived under.
- Jesse Owens, The Tampa Tribune (1 April 1980).
- The press, television, and movies make heroes of vandals by calling them whiz kids. ... There is obviously a cultural gap. The act of breaking into a computer system has to have the same social stigma as breaking into a neighbor's house. It should not matter that the neighbor's door is unlocked.
- Thirty years ago it seemed right that there be no stigma in education and that everyone should get the same start in life, but there are problems in mixing everyone together. I was never happy about the inclusion of children with severe autistic problems in schools, for example, and I certainly don't think it is working today.