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Sociology 2259
Pamela Cushing

Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity Day 3 of a million Dramaturgical Model -- Goffman - a perspective that sees social life as a performance - Shakespeare: all the world’s a stage and we are it’s players etc etc - Actor, other, role, script, set, stage, props, front stage, back stage o There are parts that go with roles  There are plenty of parts that go with the roles  To be a good dude, you don’t kill people or be a rapist and yeah o Can get kicked out of a script for not complying  If you are a shitty employee you’ll eventually get fired  Unless you’re me heh heh - We’ve all got masks on and they’re switching all the time o We’re never not wearing a mask o We’re forever performing o We’re all impostors - Actor and the other (audience) constantly acting back and forth - The front stage is where you perform and the back stage is where you prepare for your performance Compartmentalized Self - So when we examine the self like this it becomes compartmentalized - We have many selves which we selectively disclose - The self is “situated” Imputing Identity - Attributing something to a person - The importance of first impressions in imputing identity - Others always impute our identity whether we want them to or not o Getting the creeps from someone and being weirded out is the imputing on someone Virtual Identity vs. Actual Identity - Virtual identity: what others impute to an individual - Actual identity: what an individual “really is” o But who is an individual really o More who you really think you are - Think of a rumour going around about you Management of Spoiled Identity - How one deals with the tension between virtual and actual identity o The gap leads to things like:  People who have a mental issue or people who are heavily tattooed  People who are unemployed Stigma - The discrepancy between virtual and actual identity - “This discrepancy, when known about or apparent, spoils his social identity; it has the effect of cutting him off from society and from himself so that he stands a discredited person facing an unaccepting world” Discredited vs. Discreditable - Discredited: one’s stigma has been revealed o It’s evident and people can see it o Readily apparent stigma o People who lost limbs etc o VISIBLE - Discreditable: One’s stigma exists but has not yet been discovered o Not known right away or isn’t immediately perceivable - If you disclose or if your stigma is disclosed you go from discreditable to discredited Three types of Stigmas - Abominations of the body o Visible stigmas like missing a limb or bearded ladys or guys with two dicks okay probably not the last one unless you’re naked o We have a cultural obsession for this  Circus stuff  Ripley’s believe it or not - Blemishes of character o Things that are not immediately perceivable
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