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stigma

Definitions of Stigma

  1. (noun) The social phenomenon or process whereby individuals that are taken to be different in some way are rejected by the greater society in with they live based on that difference.
  2. (noun) Labels that associate people with unfavorable or disapproved behavior and characteristics.

Stigma Pronunciation

Usage Notes

  • Plural: stigmas
  • While stigma is typically seen as negative, it can also be seen as “positive” i.e. something that benefits an individual (e.g., praise for being wealthy or beautiful).
  • Also called social stigma.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

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Cite the Definition of Stigma

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “stigma.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved August 24, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/stigma/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

stigma. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/stigma/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “stigma.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed August 24, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/stigma/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“stigma.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 24 Aug. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/stigma/>.