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Lecture 7

HLTHAGE 3Q03 Lecture 7: Lecture-7

Health, Aging and Society
Course Code
Brunothe Bear

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Lecture 7
Goman (1963) on Stigma
Stigma — an attribute that is deeply discrediting “including physical abnormalities,
social ranking and anything that violates cultural or social norms i.e a character flaw”
“Conspicuous” versus “Concealable stigma”
When you are applying for a job, you need to answer correctly to being
incarcerated, then you are subjected to the stigma associated with that
The visibility of a stigma can increase dicult in managing it, as well as change
ones own self perceptions
Courtesy stigma
Actions that are not perceived as normal or okay things deemed by society
In order to avoid a spoiled identity, people use management techniques such as
Passing or hiding a stigma
Covering or downplaying a stigma
We use these management techniques to avoid being labeled, to lessen the degree of
labelling to avoid identification and to avoid the eects of internalization of
Lessening an oence — Break and enter you would turn/shape it into just
Maintaining the central part of ourselves that we want others to see; and hiding
parts we don’t want others to see
Relocation could be part of covering up our past — to distance ourselves not just
Becker (1963) and the outsiders
Outsiders: those who have been labelled and accept identification with a deviant label
Often leads a deviant career; stages within a deviant career
Leaving/exiting — you sometimes don’t get the opportunity to
leave/dissociate from this label that has been placed on you
Case Study: Frank Abagnale
GenwerthAU (2011): Frank Abagnale, sponsored by Grenworth as a keynote
speaker in 2008 01
In what ways we does Abagnale’s life represent the stages of a deviant identity? What
about engagement in dramaturgy?
In this example, what impacts to Abagnale’s own health and well being were
noted? What about the role of stigma
Stereotype Embodiment Theory
According to Levy (2000, 332) stereotypes can be internalized
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Key tenets of the theory
Impact and influence at the subconscious level
Impact through multiple pathways
This model suggests that people will always fit into this mould — not always the case
What impact do you think stereotypes have on the incarcerated
What about the impacts on their health and well being
Embodiment Theory and Stigma
Laz proposes the following theory of embodied aging, which we can extend into
embodiment of a criminal identity
Identity as an accomplished; for example, you become a prisoner or an ex con
Role of body reflexive practises
Involves routine but is still fluid and flexible
Embodiment is greatly influenced by interactions, social structures and
arrangements; thus agency can be constrained or limited
In what ways can we see the accomplishment of a criminal identity?
Is there any rejection and or deconstruction of the stigma around it
People who are wrongfully convicted can reject the criminal identity
Case Studies in Stigma and Incarceration
American Moran examined female prisoners both current and former; looked at
reintegration into society
Key findings
Inscription of the prisoner’s body
Anxiety after life after prison
Are you’re family and friends going to accept you back
Fear about instability to manage conspicuous and concealable stigma; worried
that people could tell they were imprisoned
Stigma carrying over to seeking employment etc, as now marked as dishonest
and unreliable
Permanence of ex con status
Management strategies post release
Teeth implants, associating with non ex cons
Move away from the embodied stigma or imprisonment
Dictated by financial ability and social resources available
In her study of British female prisoners, Rowe (2011) examines the role of the self and
stigma among female oenders
Key findings
Loss of social roles, responsibilities and identities when in prison
Adjusting to privacy, less structure and control and independence
Problematic that they couldn’t have control of themselves; mortification of the
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