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Stigma and Ethnocentrism – Prejudice and Bias (SOC)

by Tarry Ahuja, MD
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    00:00 Stigma is something that we’ve talk about a lot. And we are going to continue to bring up.

    00:05 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.

    00:16 So many times, social stigma is affixed by the greater society and not the individual.

    00:21 It’s this something that the society as a whole is overlaying on a subcategory of people.

    00:28 Examples are you are going thrown around.

    00:30 All lawyers are untrustworthy. Or people with tattoos are all thieves and so on and so on.

    00:42 You can slice this pie of some of the different ways.

    00:45 But what I am doing here is the broader society not even a groups.

    00:49 So a large society has this stigmas that they apply.

    00:54 And they are really, really tough to disapproved, discount and change because it is such a broad population that’s saying or believing in this stigma.

    01:04 There is three forms of social stigma that we are going to highlight here.

    01:08 One is based on obvious external deformities – physical disabilities, obesity.

    01:13 Again, you might see somebody who is overweight.

    01:17 And say, this is something that is extremely prevalent in todays society because obesity is becoming such an epidemic.

    01:24 But you see somebody who is overweight walk by.

    01:27 And you kind of sneer and sneaker and there is this stigma saying, “Oh what a fatty. 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.

    01:40 or they’ve had a surgery done.

    01:41 And or they got into a huge accident and they can no longer exercise.

    01:45 Or you know, there is a lot of different scenarios that could be cause in the obesity that are no way shape or form related to their level of desire to exercise or eat healthier or do well.

    01:59 Something like a physical disability, right.

    02:01 Oh, this person is in the wheelchair. So they obviously, they can’t perform any physical function.

    02:09 There is no way they could travel or drive way or drive the car.

    02:12 These are obvious deficiency that this person might have.

    02:15 But they are looking at the disability and not the ability.

    02:18 And so they are looking at that physical disability and making some social stigma.

    02:22 And you hear this all the time with people with mental illness, people with other disorders like down syndrome or about people that are autistic.

    02:30 and society has said, “Well, you have a mental issue or you have down syndrome.

    02:35 So you obviously, you are not kind of get a job. You are not going to find a partner and get married.

    02:39 There is a lot of stigma associate with that.

    02:41 And as a result a lot of people end up actually were possible.

    02:45 That’s why we are saying this are obvious externals. But if there is not so obvious They’ll maybe hide their underlying issue because of the social stigma.

    02:52 They don’t want that associate with them.

    02:54 There is Deviations and Personal Traits.

    02:57 Here we go, mental disorder, addiction, criminal background.

    02:59 If you suffer from depression, it might not be something you want to discuss right.

    03:04 And so, thankfully, the stigma around mental illness is changed a lot.

    03:09 In the last 5-10 years, it is become something that you can actually discuss in an open form and the stigma associate with that is really, really change thankfully.

    03:18 Because we are now able to appreciate that it is an illness.

    03:22 And that if something that you hide or goes undetected or undiscussed it could become a serious issue.

    03:27 And things like addiction, in a criminal background.

    03:31 If you are applying from employment, sometimes the question that they will ask, “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.

    03:41 But it at once you get identified as having of one of this issues.

    03:44 It could lay this social stigma and making it very difficult to say find them an employment.

    03:49 A third one is called Tribal Stigma.

    03:51 And this is where you are being labeled based on your ethnicity or nationality.

    03:56 And this is some other things like stereotyping or cultural stereotypes.

    04:02 And in that we are looking at your association with this ethnic group.

    04:06 And then, where applying a social stigma to this broader group.

    04:10 And as a result you are being identified as that individual.

    04:13 So this are all three different types of social stigma.

    04:18 Now, we are going to look at one last topic and it’s around ethnicity.

    04:22 Ethnocentrism is a view that believes one culture superior to another and the tendency to judge people from another culture by the standards of once own.

    04:33 This doesn’t means you always have to be related directly to ethnicity.

    04:38 But it might be in your little subcultures.

    04:41 Say for example, you are one who loves the downtown life.

    04:46 You live in a condo right down town. And you have a couple of friends who live on a suburbs or on the [00:04:52,9] of city.

    04:53 And you roll your eyes when you say, “You know, my friend Dave lives down on the burbs.” And they are saying, “Well, being in the city is much better.” And this is were all the actions at.

    05:06 And look at the night life, the restaurants, the shopping and there is hassling and bustling.

    05:10 And, in your eyes, this is what is ideal than anything outside of this is not.

    05:15 And so you are comparing everything to your culture which is downtown living.

    05:21 And that’s what you say ethnocentrism because you are being self-centered.

    05:24 You are centering, you are thinking around yours, okay.

    05:29 We know that’s not always ideal right. So you could flip that in the person that who lives in the burbs or in the rural areas might be saying, “Oh my God, I can’t believe I live in the city.

    05:39 What a headache that is. Finding parking, the traffic, the noise.

    05:44 Its not quiet. Or so much crime. I don’t want that. I want peace and quiet.

    05:49 And now this other individual is looking at the downtown living in comparison to their life style or their culture.

    05:59 So in those two scenarios, you'd have an In-group and an Out-group.

    06:03 The in-group is the social that one identifies with and tends to be favor.

    06:07 And if you are different than that in-group, we would stay that’s the outgroup.

    06:11 So social group the one does not identify with and considers a threat, okay.

    06:16 This could apply to things like, “Where do you live?” It could apply to things like race, culture, genders. There is a lot of ways.

    06:23 Again, it seems to be the same characteristics but that’s the case that’s how you can do it.

    06:28 So you can look at any of those things and look at it whether it is an in-group or out-group.

    06:32 Another concept is Cultural Relativism.

    06:37 And this involves judging another culture based on its own standards right.

    06:40 It’s a unique way to look at it. Say for example, in your culture, you have certain standards.

    06:49 Let’s say, in my culture, I go to church every Sunday and that’s what’s you’re supposed to do.

    06:57 and that’s what the right thing to do.

    06:59 And there might be another culture that does not go to church at all ever.

    07:04 They don’t believe in churches. They think this is something just doing at home.

    07:07 They do what they want. And all of a sudden you are comparing in judging in that culture based on your standards of your culture.

    07:15 You might have another culture that is covered head to toe in grab. And all you have are the exposed eyes.

    07:23 versus other cultures like most of the north America you are walking half naked all the time.

    07:27 So being American, you might say or Canadian or North American you might say, “Well, I can’t believe that they have to be wrap up like that and that’s not the way to live.

    07:37 You should be able to work around in the bikini like me all the time or a speedo like myself.

    07:41 That’s the way to live.

    07:43 And if you flip it, the individual who is covered head to toe might say, “Look at this people, I can’t believe they walk around naked like that.

    07:51 Whats wrong with them?” And so, you are relating that culture based on your culture.

    07:57 Now, this is a difficult thing to do when the cultures are so drastically different right.

    08:03 So the example I gave there was based on sort of religion.

    08:07 But you can have a lot of other ways to look at it as well.

    08:10 But it comes back to, how different are they? And it comes back to how is it relate to yours.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Stigma and Ethnocentrism – Prejudice and Bias (SOC) by Tarry Ahuja, MD is from the course Social Thinking.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Social stigma
    2. Discrimination
    3. Social facilitation
    4. Prejudice
    5. Stereotype
    1. Amputee
    2. Schizophrenia
    3. Dressed in traditional Japanese custom
    4. Prison tattoos
    5. Skin color
    1. Cultural relativism
    2. Egocentrisim
    3. Industry vs inferiority
    4. Prejudice
    5. Social bias

    Author of lecture Stigma and Ethnocentrism – Prejudice and Bias (SOC)

     Tarry Ahuja, MD

    Tarry Ahuja, MD


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