The Goffman First Introduced Stigma As A Social Theory Essay

The Goffman First Introduced Stigma As A Social Theory Essay

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Erving Goffman first introduced stigma as a social theory. These social theories involves stigma as the reason for dehumanization or loss of identity. There are three main types of stigma all related to social well being. Social stigmas consist of external, internal, and tribal. All three types are similar in that social isolation results in the end (Milne, 2010, pp 228). People with Alzheimer’s experience social isolation and eventually social death. This will occur many times long before physical death occurs (Brannelly, 2011, pp 664).
Exploring the meaning of external stigma. This can occur with disfiguring illness, but can easily victimize people with mental illness or cognitive impairments. There is a label placed on the stigmatized and they are considered different. Contact is avoided with these individuals. Treating a person as an inferior can result with this type of stigma ( Kwait, Types of Stigma). Since this type of stigma focuses on avoidance and inferior treatment is encompassed in this type of stigma the family that most fit the role was Marvin Sr. and Marvin Jr. Though Marvin Jr. did not really treat his father as an inferior person, he did avoid him. Marvin Jr. claimed that his motivation for avoidance were motivated by not wanting his mother to see emotional breakdown (Cookson, 2009). This could be the case, but family members of Alzheimer’s patients often experience shame.
Internal stigma occurs in a process. It starts within the person and then gets externalized through social isolation. There is a loss of self control or self determination. This is followed by loss of self esteem which can lead to feelings of shame or fear. Eventually the person isolates themselves by avoiding contact with oth...

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... members or AD patients there might be a greater impact. The reduced socialization most likely affects these individuals more than the average Joe, but it is still less than what the patient or family is experiencing. The awkward comes with encounters that may be less than ideal, such as a behavioral moment.
Stigmatization about Alzheimer’s has created avoidance in diagnosis. Approximately 25% of dementia admitted to hiding their disease (Purple Elephant, 2015). There is a delay in diagnosis due to stigma. Many people with AD are seen by a specialist after disease is in more advanced stages. Family members often prompt the encounter with a physician when functional needs begin to increase and independence starts to decline (Brannelly, 2001, pp 662). Early diagnosis is important with AD and a delay due to stigma is unfortunate, but it does occur.


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