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Stigmatization

Stigmatization is a social process where a person is treated as different. People with more power think that people with less power are not equal to them, but are inferior. Therefore, the powerful stigmatize the powerless in order to maintain inequalities between groups. Stigma involves the discrediting of an individual because he or she belongs to a devalued group with low social power. The most common form of stigma may be that resulting from poverty. A poor person feels stigmatized by being out of the common circle. For example, a poor child may feel stigmatized by being put into a reserved category of social welfare in school. Hence, stigmatization is inevitable where poverty is a main theme. Erving Goffman, a pioneer in stigma research, defined ...

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