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Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity by [Goffman, Erving]
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Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Length: 170 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From the Back Cover

Stigma is an illuminating excursion into the situation of persons who are unable to conform to standards that society calls normal. Disqualified from full social acceptance, they are stigmatized individuals.

About the Author

Erring Goffman was born in Manville, Alberta (Canada) in 1922. He came to the United States in 1945, and in 1953 received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. He was professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley until 1968, and thereafter was Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Goffman received the MacIver Award in 1961 and the In Medias Res Award in 1978. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He died in 1983.

Dr. Goffman's books include The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Encounters, Asylums, Behavior in Public Places, Stigma, Interaction Ritual, Strategic Interaction, Relations in Public, Frame Analysis, and Gender Advertisements.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1580 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (24 Nov. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BOS3ONW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #39,180 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
For those not familiar with Goffman's work he is the acceptable face of Sociology. He avoids the bogus science which has given the whole enterprise a bad name but captures the essence of what makes the study of social interraction so fascinating. The Stigmas covered include disabilities, social deviance or sexual orientation. Stigma proposes a basic principle: That the stigmatised individual has a simple choice regarding the attributes that he or she has that makes them different. They can either control the information by not letting so called 'normals' i.e. everyone else, know what their secret is if its not obviously visible; or they can let it be known and manage the resulting tension. They can 'pass' i.e. pretend to be normal while harbouring the knowledge that their stigma makes them distinct and different. It is Goffman's extraordinary insight and accurate description that makes his brand of Sociology so engaging. You will read this and say 'Aha' when you recognise that things you thought only you had observed in the minutely detailed interplay of human relations have been bagged, tagged and described in the most accurate and well documented manner. Nobody should go through life without at least once dipping in to the sharply observed world of this great 20th century observer.
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Format: Paperback
Although this is a slim book it is more rich in detail and insight thanmany texts twice its size. Goffman is both a genius and a brilliantwriter. His theory is clearly elucidated throughout the text by real lifeanecdotes. The book opens with a letter to a "lonelyhearts" column from agirl "born without a nose" which concludes "Ought I commit suicide?" Thissets the tone for a book that pulls no punches and comprehensively addresses the alienation of those different from what is perceived to be"normal". I hope that this text is being promoted at secondary schoollevel, and it is certainly essential reading for anyone whose workinvolves dealing with people.
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Goffman wrote a seminal book about Stigma which connects more to Foucualt than Marx in his perception of how institions such as prisons, psychiatrists as well as communities pass judgement upon what constitutes the norm and what is outside it. In this respect, Goffman also connects to Bourdieu's habitus.

Looking at homosexuality and the stigma applied, which has not been entirely erased - along with prostitution, disability and race, he ranges across the big themes that were to dominate the late 1970's as Gay rights, Women's Rights, Civil Rights and Disability Rights all changed the world due to the stigmas they faced. Goffman's book, handed out on sociology courses must have lit the touchpaper, because here was someone inhabiting the skin of those who were ostracised and providing a language of expression previously denied. This is one of those little slim volumes written by US academics that just lit up the world during this era. Howard Becker is another.

Goffman fuses psychology with sociology to transcend the bland theorising of both to deliver something which offers hope to those who have been castigated. Some of the language is non PC, but try reading Mark Twain.

Within this book are more ideas than most can put together in a life time. Reflecting upon them you can see how the world has changed, but you can also wince, because these labels are no longer applied to women, blacks and disabled but they are used against the homeless, the drug user, alcoholic and the criminal. These people have been cast adrift by the "normals" along with the sex worker who still hangs out with the Bohemians, so the world has shifted its....a little.
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How we need this investigation into the way we look at other people. It may help us to understand how they look at us. Brilliant. Goffmann is as relevant today as when he was writing up and publishing his researches.
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Hard work to read and you need to remember it was written 50 years ago . The language and attitudes would not be acceptable today. Having said that there are some very keen observations there which to me seem common sense but not everyone has direct experience of stigma
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Format: Paperback
this book is excellent for those interested in sociology or psycology. Good for gaining an understanding as to how those with disabilities or a 'difference' from others and how their and their families behaviour may be affected.
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I found this book when I searched under Disability. I hadn't read many other books on the topic before, but I felt this one covered the issue of how everyone deals with 'the elephant in the room' in social situations. It considered how disabled and non-disabled people view the disability and what each thinks the other might think. So that was interesting. The book wasn't solely concerned with disability and also dealt with other stigmatised groups (criminals, for instance). But I did feel the language (the word 'cripple' came up several times) was a bit un-PC for the 21st century (I think the book was written in the early 1960s). And the attitude to homosexuality is also outmoded.
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Although written at a time when we thought different, and certainly spoke in different terms about people with sensory and physical disabilities, this is essential stuff for anyone interested in the interface between "normals" and excluded groups in society. Goffman's easy to read yet informative style is backed-up by plenty of anecdotal evidence.
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