Thursday, January 12, 2017

Erving Goffman Readings

Goffman argues that we often attribute a supernatural power to those who have a stigma, while also viewing the person with this stigma as undesirable and dangerous. I wonder, is it the fear of these victims of stigma having an unknown power to us that makes us view them as undesirable and not worthy?

Something I found most interesting about this reading was Goffman's analysis of people who attained stigmas later in life. The juxtaposition between their pre-stigma acquaintances and how they view the person with the associated stigma "being attached to a conception of what he once was" while post stigma acquaintances see him as just a faulty person. In both cases they saw the person attached to the stigma as somehow damaged, yet having known the person before receiving the stigma made no difference in their reputation.

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