People living in a particular society possess a style and specific manner to conduct social interaction with other people. Many practices and norms of the society effectively alter peoples behavior each other along with their variant responses to the external society.
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Goffman was a great philosopher and writer of his time; he studied and understood human behavior and a particular manner of absorbing influence of external society on the personality and social interaction. He has presented his theory in his book “Stigma: notes on the Management of Spolied Identity”.
Goffman has a deep understanding of the fact that every sort of discrimination exists in different societies, which compel societal members to reform their behavior and actions for others. In his book and theory he has used a word stigma to refer those people, who lack normal physical features or characteristics.
These people always stay a centre of attention of other people, rarely in sense of sympathy, but mostly a victim of fun (Goffman). Deficiencies or any other problem with personality diverts everyones attention and force them to treat that particular person as someone out of the world.
For instance, Goffman has quoted in his book, “The attitude we normals have toward a person with a stigma, and the actions we take in regard to him, are well known, since these responses are what benevolent social action is designed to soften and ameliorate.”
A person with stigma is badly treated in the society, giving him a complex of inferiority. According to him, such behavior of friends and other people around decreases life span of the person (Goffman). Additionally, he has explained that we often use words like cripple and bastard, in order to abuse such people as they are considered a curse for the society.
Goffman contributed to identify crucial problems of the stigmatized people, who suffer from various complexities in life, more because of the discrimination they face during social interaction. These are highly discouraged people, who are often looked as super naturals or from any other planet of the world.
Additionally, the author has explained that the problem of stigmatization exists more frequently in the regions, where mix cultural population lives together such as the Unites States. America is thickly populated state of the world, and it is not only highly populated, but it also has a variety of people living and sharing same regional practices (Goffman). In such a society, the problem of stigmatization and racial discrimination is at peak.
Moreover, Goffman discussed that these stigmatized people intend to gain equal opportunities and identity among other members of the community, but the practices of discrimination does not allow them to identify or considered themselves similar to other normal members of the society.
The author wondered because the attitude of the people towards stigmatized individuals shows that as if they want to decalred such members of the society as the alien, who do not have any right to breathe on this earth (Goffman). In the end, the author has mentioned that such discrimination compel stigmatized people to get involved in criminal activities and contribute to increased crime rate in the society.
The above analysis of Goffmans work shows that undoubtedly, the author possess great sense of understanding problems of some special people and his contribution is thought provoking and important to highlight major problem of todays people behavior with those, who are not like normal individuals.
Goffman, Irving. Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1963. Print.