• Stigma: A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
  • It is also described as a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something
  • In my mind, I see stigma as a mark of something bad that sets apart a person from everyone else or the norm.
  • The particular topic I’m focusing on that involves stigma is mental illness.
  • According to, 3 out of four people with a mental illness report that they have experienced Stigma. They feel as though they are labeled by their illness and seen as a part of a stereotyped group. Negative attitudes create prejudice which leads to negative actions and discrimination.
  • Because of the attitudes towards individuals with mental illnesses, these people do not get the same opportunities as others. They cannot experience life as fully as those who are not suffering with an illness.
  • Not only are good jobs hard to find but also socially they are looked at as different.
  • As a society, its our job to make everyone feel like they fit in and have a place in the world. Although it will obviously never completely be that way, it is a big step to simply treat people equally.

Theoretical ideas relating to stigma include:

  • Power VS Empowerment: The idea of power versus empowerment is that power is social effectiveness and empowerment is the granting of social, political or economic power to a group
  • Related Aspect of Issue: This ties in with stigma because there is always a social upper class in society. They have the power and say so because everyone follows their lead.  If you are not like them or are “different”, you are looked down upon.
  • Source: The book pg. 370 and
  • Undeserving poor: The idea of undeserving poor is that people who are living in poverty are perceived to have bad morals and character and do not deserve help.
  • Related issue: People who are poor feel inadequate and dehumanized. Stigma is in huge relation with this topic because the poor are put on a negative pedestal.
  • Source: The book pg. 227, 236 and
  • Controlled Society: By definition, social control is the enforcement of conformity by society upon its members, either by law or social pressure
  • Related issue: Society is controlled by image and who you are. If you don’t meet certain standards, look a certain way, act a certain way, you are basically outcasted.
  • Source: The book pg. 86 and
  • Global Poverty: Poverty is the lack of basic necessities to live, including food, water and shelter. The existence of global poverty is actually to benefit some companies and jobs.
  • Related Issue: Higher society people give adequate amounts of money to charities and other groups to feel good about themselves. The spotlight is once again on the poor and the “generous” wealthy people.
  • Source: The book pg. 42
  • Rape Culture: This was brought to light by feminists and was designed to show the ways in which society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized male sexual violence.
  • Related Issue: Those who have actually experienced being raped are shunned and not looked at seriously. They are stereotyped as “playing the victim”.
  • Source: The book pg. 288 and
  • Racism: This idea is beliefs of a particular type of race and stereotyping them by discriminating and belittling.
  • Related issue: It gives the “racist” person a sense of superiority while making the individual turn into a stereotyped object.
  • Source: and the book pg. 356
  • And the poor get prisoned: This idea is that the poor are more likely to be arrested, charged, and convicted of crimes than the wealthy.
  • Related Idea: This ties in with all of the ideas covered so far because it has everything to do with societies stereotyping. Society making the less fortunate feel like bad people or failures.
  • Source: the book pg. 160
  • Feminism: According to the definition on wikipedia, feminism is a conflict theory and theoretical perspective which observes gender in its relation to power, both of face-to-face interaction and reflexivity within a social structure at large. It focuses on sexual orientation, race, economic status, and nationality.
  • Related issue: Women are perceived to not have the same intelligence or ability as men in every aspect. Woman are looked as an individual who should be working under a man and not fit for a “man’s” position.
  • Source: The book pg. 430 and
  • Sociological Imagination: This idea is the vivid awareness of the relationship between experience and the wider society.
  • Related Issue: This is important when talking about the topic of stigma because it is the idea that we should think out side of the box and away from are regular routine of life. Be more open minded and accepting as we should with individuals and other aspects of life.
  • Source:
  • Stigma: A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
  • It is also described as a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something
  • Related Issue: This is what my whole project is centered around and what all of my theoretical ideas tie into.
  • Source: and the book

How did I make it?

  • I used a poster board and construction paper to create my visual aid. I cut out figures that looked like people and glued them to the poster. All of the figures are pink except one and there is an arrow pointing to it because they are the noticeably “different” one out of everyone.

Advice to others:

  • My advice to others would be to just accept everyone as they are. Do not stereotype, look down upon, or judge others just because they do not act like you, look like you, or have the same beliefs as you.