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Situating stigma: Accounting for deviancy, difference, and categorial relations

Smith, Robin James ORCID:, Atkinson, Paul ORCID: and Evans, Rhiannon ORCID: 2022. Situating stigma: Accounting for deviancy, difference, and categorial relations. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 28 (5) , pp. 890-896. 10.1111/jep.13749

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This article returns to Goffman's early formulations of ‘stigma’ in outlining a critique of contemporary social scientific uses and abuses of the concept. We argue that whilst Goffman's discussion of stigma is not without its troubles, it has mostly been approached in a manner that treats the concept outside of an appreciation of stigma as a phenomenon of interaction order. More specifically, we discuss and demonstrate how stigma serves an analytic gloss for social relations observable in social settings and in accounts of difference, deviance and degradation. We analyse both social scientific and lay uses of the stigma concept in relation to care-experienced young children and self-harm to demonstrate the shared categorisational practices and logics that are often obscured through theoretical treatments of stigma. The recommendation is, then, that an attention to ‘stigma’ in care settings must begin with the conditions in and from which stigma might come to feature as a sense-making device for all parties.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1356-1294
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 August 2022
Date of Acceptance: 25 July 2022
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 02:56

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