So stigma is something that we’ve talked about a lot.
And we are going to continue to bring up.
But it refers to, especially social stigma,
it refers to the disapproval of a individual
or group on a specific social characteristic that
is perceived. So many times, social stigma is
affixed by the greater society and not the
individual. So it's just something that the society
as a whole is overlaying on a subcategory of people.
So, examples that we've already thrown around.
So, all lawyers are untrustworthy. Or people
with tattoos are all thieves and so on and so on.
You can slice this pie several different ways.
But what I am doing here is the broader society
not even a group. So a large society has these
stigmas that they apply. And they are really, really
tough to disapprove and discount and change because
it is such a broad population that’s saying or
believing in this stigma. So, there is three forms
of social stigma that we are going to highlight here.
So one is based on obvious external deformities.
So physical disabilities, obesity. So again, you know
you might see somebody who is overweight and say,
and this is something that is extremely prevalent
in todays society because obesity is becoming such an
epidemic. But you see somebody who is overweight
walk by. And you kind of sneer and snicker and there
is this stigma saying, “Oh what a fattie and
he is such a lazy and probably eats like a pig.”
Well, maybe it’s none of those things. And maybe it’s
because they have a gland issue or they’ve had
surgery done. And or they got into a huge accident
and they can no longer exercise. Or you know,
there is a lot of different scenarios that could be
causing the obesity that are no way, shape or form
related to their level of desire to exercise
or eat healthy or do well. Something like a physical
disability, right. So, this person is in a
wheelchair. So they obviously, they can’t perform
any physical function. There is no way they could
travel or drive away or drive the car. And these are
obvious deficiency that this person might have.
But they are looking at the disability and not the
ability. And so they are looking at that physical
disability and making some social stigma. And you
hear about this all the time with people with
mental illness, people with other disorders like
Down syndrome or about people that are autistic.
And society has said, “Well, you know you have a mental
issue or you have Down syndrome. So you obviously,
you know you are not going to get a job. You are
not going to find a partner and get married.
There is a lot of stigma associated with that.
And as a result a lot of people will end up actually
where possible. That’s why we are saying this are
obvious externals. But if there are not so obvious,
they’ll maybe hide their underlying issue because of
the social stigma. They don’t want that
associated with them. There is deviations in
personal traits. Here we go, mental disorder,
addiction, criminal background. If you suffer from
depression, it might not be something you want to
discuss right. And so, thankfully, the stigma around
mental illness has changed a lot. So, in the last
5 to 10 years, it has become something that you can
actually discuss in an open form and the stigma
associated with that has really, really changed.
Thankfully. Because we are now able to appreciate that
it is an illness. And that if something that you
hide or goes undetected or undiscussed it could
become a serious issue. And things like addiction,
in a criminal background. If you are applying for
employment, sometimes the question that they will
ask you, “Have you ever been arrested?
Do you have a criminal background?” If you hide
that, it’s because you are trying to get a job.
But it, and once you get identified as having of one
of these issues. It could lay this social stigma
making it very difficult to say find employment.
A third one is called tribal stigma.
And this is where you are being labelled based on
your ethnicity or nationality. And this is
very similar to things like stereotyping or cultural
stereotypes. And in that we are looking at your
association with this ethnic group. And then, we're
applying a social stigma to this broader group
and as a result you are being identified as that
individual. So these are all three different types
of social stigma. Now, we are going to look at
one last topic and it’s around ethnicity.
So, ethnocentrism is a view that believes one
culture is superior to another and the tendency to
judge people from another culture by the standards
of one's own. So, this doesn’t even always have to be
related directly to ethnicity. But it might be in
your little subcultures. Say for example,
you are one who loves the downtown life. So you live
in a condo right downtown. And you have a couple
of friends who live in a suburbs or on the outskirts
of city. And you know, you roll your eyes when you say,
“You know, my friend Dave lives out in the burbs.”
And they are saying, “Well, being in the city
is much better.” And this is where all the action's
at. And look at the night life, the restaurants,
the shopping and it's hustling and bustling. And
in your eyes, this is what is ideal and anything
outside of this is not. And so you are comparing
everything to your culture which is downtown living.
And that’s why we say ethnocentrism. Because you are
being self-centered. You are centering,
you are thinking around yours, okay. So, we know
that’s not always ideal right. So you could flip
that in the person who lives in the burbs or in the
rural areas might be saying, “Oh my God, I can’t
believe you live in the city. What a headache
that is. Finding parking, the traffic, the noise.
It's not quiet. There's so much crime. I don’t want
that. I want peace and quiet. And now this other
individual, you know, is looking at the downtown
living in comparison to their lifestyle or their
culture. So in those two scenarios, you'd have an
In-group and an Out-group. The in-group is the
social group that one identifies with and tends to
be favored. And if you are different than that
in-group, we would say that’s the out-group.
So social group that one does not identify with and
considers a threat, okay. So this could apply to
things like, “Where you live?” It could apply to
things like race, culture, genders. There is a lot
of ways. Again, it seems to be the same characteristics
but that’s the case. That’s how you can do it.
So you can look at any of those things and look at it
whether it's in-group or out-group.
Now, let's move to cultural relativism. Cultural
relativism involves judging another culture by
their specific cultures beliefs and ethics. More
specifically there is nothing inherently right
or inherently wrong in cultural practices.
Everything should be evaluated based on individual
cultural standards. For example, coining and moxibustion
which seem to be dangerous and bizarre practices
in some countries are widely used and are widely
accepted by another group of individuals.
Cultural relativism embraces the individuality of
each culture and respects its moral beliefs.
Sometimes though this is not easy to do,
especially when cultures are drastically different.