Definitions of Stigma
- (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.
- (noun) Labels that associate people with unfavorable or disapproved behavior and characteristics.
- American English – /stIgmUH/
- British English – /stIgmUH/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈstɪɡmə/
- British English – /ˈstɪɡmə/
- 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.
- Sex and Gender Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “stigma” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Chan, Kit Yee, Arattha Rungpueng, and Daniel D. Reidpath. 2009. “AIDS and the Stigma of Sexual Promiscuity: Thai Nurses’ Risk Perceptions of Occupational Exposure to HIV.” Culture, Health and Sexuality 11(4):353–68. doi:10.1080/13691050802621161.
- Goffman, Erving. 1963. Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
- Green, Gill. 2009. The End of Stigma? Changes in the Experience of Long-term Illness. London: Routledge.
- Howarth, Caroline. 2006. “Race as Stigma: Positioning the Stigmatized as Agents, Not Objects.” Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology 16(6):442–51. doi:10.1002/casp.898.
- Hunt, Paul. 1966. Stigma: The Experience of Disability. London: Chapman.
- Nettleton, Sarah. 2013. The Sociology of Health and Illness. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Schur, Edwin M. 1983. Labeling Women Deviant: Gender, Stigma, and Social Control. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
- Takahashi, Lois. 1998. Homelessness, AIDS, and Stigmatization: The NIMBY Syndrome in the United States at the End of the Twentieth Century. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
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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 April 1, 2023 (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 April 1, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/stigma/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“stigma.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 1 Apr. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/stigma/>.