Key Concepts in Public Health identifies fifty key concepts used across the discipline of public health in order to give the reader a broad perspective of the core topics relevant to training and practice. From epidemiology to health promotion, and ethics to leadership, the book offers an exciting guide to the multiprofessional field. Each entry features a snapshot definition of the concept, a broader discussion addressing the main issues and links to practice, key points relevant to the entry, case studies to illustrate the application to practice, and examples of further reading.

Social Exclusion and Stigma

Social Exclusion and Stigma

Social exclusion and stigma


The origins of the word stigma are to be found in the Greek language (the plural is stigmata). Stigma traditionally referred to the cuts or burns imprinted on the skin of slaves, traitors and criminals. Stigma, although a term which is rooted in classical civilisation, is also one that has expanded and adapted to the changing norms and constructs of centuries of cultural and social upheavals. The most celebrated definition of stigma used is that put forward by the Canadian Erving Goffman:

While the stranger is present before us, evidence can arise of his possessing an attribute which makes him different from others in the category of persons available for him to be, and of a less desirable kind ...

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