Hiv Disease Stigma

In: Social Issues

Submitted By ranger
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Pages 3
Erving Goffman was one of the first sociologists to write about disease stigma. Goffman thought that people were stigmatized by others on the basis of being different, and this “deviance” results in “spoiled identity.” (Bios Sociologicus:) Singling people out as different devalues their social position. This idea of stigma focused on the social/psychological processes of being stigmatized and the consequences of stigma. Using a variety of qualitative methods, Goffman developed classifications of the different elements of social interaction. (Goffman E. 1971)

Goffman made contributions to the related fields of the sociology of mental illness and the sociology of stigma. Goffman defined a stigma as a ‘deeply discrediting’ attribute in the context of a set of relationships. He distinguished three types: abominations of the body, blemishes of character and tribal stigmata. (Bios Sociologicus:) Goffman knew that the handling of possibly damaging information was critical for three aspects of our identity: “the ‘personal’, the ‘social’ and the ‘ego”. (Tarwireyi F.) Our personal identity is what makes each of us unique and it consists of fingerprints of our life histories. Our identity is what others understand about us. Our ego identity refers to what we think about ourselves. In one part of Stigma Goffman suggested that we are all, to some degree, stigmatized. (Bios Sociologicus:)

There is a huge amount of inequalities in health that we see within and between countries. There currently is a spread of over 48 years in the life expectancy between the countries of Uganda and Japan. (www.who.int) Much of research identifies social factors at the root of much of the inequalities in health. What it comes down to is that the more affluent countries have the assets and a base of living to an old age that pushes research of HIV/ AIDS. In poorer countries, there isn’t…...

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