Sociology 2259 Lecture Notes - Erving Goffman, Vise, Stereotype

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9 Feb 2013
Goffman & Stigma – Chapter 3
Chapter 3 Overview
The stigmatized individual's sense of self
“Ambivalence of self”
Context that impact or affect this sense of self
“In-group/us” vs. “out-group/them”
“Own” vs. “wise”
The nature of these contexts
Ambivalence of self due to:
Mixed messages from in-group AND out-group
Degree of seriousness that you take your stigma to be (conditional vs. genuine)
Stigmatized person more than normally want a distinct sense of self
Even if a stigmatized person is told they are accepted in society it is often times conditional
Social Identity: social expectation of the individual—based on constructs of stereotypes,
assumptions, and relationships
Personal Identity: the information that just you knows about yourself
Ego Identity (Erkison): an individual's “felt” identity—a subjective sense of his/her own
situation, continuity, and character
How someone personally perceives themselves, but often is influenced by their social
How do they create images of themselves, passing, management, etc
What an individual comes to personally experience based on social and personal situations
Basically, comprised of BOTH social and personal identity
Identity Ambivalence
Identity Ambivalence: you receive mixed messages about your place in society—you learn the
standards of the “out-group”...yet you are said to belong to the “in-group”
A stigmatized individuals experiences this ambivalence due to the gap between his/her
“reality” and that he/she applied to him/herself
About not wanting to align with the in-group, but also don't want to be stigmatized by
Acquires identity standards that he/she apply to themselves, but they know that they fail to
conform to them—can cause people to experience different types of ambivalence
Expressions of identity ambivalence:
Fluctuations in identity
Individual will often feels fluctuations of identity (oscillation same as fluctuation)
Associating with their “own”
Might associate with similar people who are stigmatized—easier to identify
Stratification of their “own”
When the individual creates a hierarchy of people who are stigmatized
Social alliances (in-group vs. out-group)
The more allied with normals, the more the individual will see themselves in non-
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