Goffman – Social Stigma Theory

by sophiestockings

Through film we experience a multitude of social issues through catharsis; we can distance ourselves enough from the content for it to be harmless however its exploration of issues such as racism, sexism and inequality can have an effect on an audience’s perspective and psyche. The filmography of social matters stems from our social consciousness to be part of a collective. Erving Goffman believes that there are three different forms of social stigma:

  1. Overt or external deformations, such as scars, physical manifestations of anorexia nervosa, leprosy (leprosy stigma), or of a physical disability or social disability,      such as obesity.
  2. Deviations in personal traits, including mental illness, drug addiction, alcoholism, and criminal background are stigmatized in this way.
  3. “Tribal stigmas” are traits, imagined or real, of ethnic group, nationality, or of religion that is deemed to be a deviation from the prevailing normative ethnicity, nationality  or religion.
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