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Stigma Management in Society Essay

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Updated: Jun 6th, 2020

Before making any analysis, we need to understand that stigma is whereby an individual is rejected by a community because of their race, religion, belief, tribe, or health status like HIV. Thus, for us to combat this problem, there must be an effective management plan in place, in the form of counseling and social awareness to those who stigmatize others (Green, 2009). Therefore, this document is going to explicate and analyze various aspects and approaches to managing stigma in society.

Stigma in society has taken the form of labeling tags on victims. For instance, people living with HIV/AIDS are referred to as prostitutes, whereas people with mental illnesses are called crazy. Such practices segregate the affected people away from society. Those who stigmatize them think they are not capable of anything productive in society and should thus be neglected, thus creating disharmony (Florez & Sartorius, 2008).

Ethical issues include a lack of credibility, honesty, trust, respect, or even loyalty for people or groups that are stigmatized. Society generally believes stigmatized individuals are not capable of anything. The society, therefore, can overcome this undesired practice by raising awareness to stigmatization perpetrators through public education, setting the records straight concerning victims and piling pressure on the government to implement policies of assisting victims (Florez & Sartorius, 2008).

We can define social deviance as a conducted act that is completely contrary to the societal or social norms. For instance, a man wearing earrings in certain societies such as china or a woman dressed provocatively in church or public to draw attention. Such deviant behaviors depend on an individual’s environment, poor brain development, or psychological issues of the deviant individual (Henry, 2009).

Stigmatization is still rife among homeless and overweight people in society. Homeless people are considered unproductive and harmful to the rest of society, while overweight persons are perceived as individuals who consume large quantities of food substances. Some members of the society also think these people have taken it upon themselves to be the way they are. Therefore, they are neglected (Henry, 2009).

If the government, stakeholders, lobby groups, and society as a whole decide to sensitize masses on the need to respect one another, irrespective of their differences, then I think stigmatized persons can live a happy life. The government should also put effective policies of punishing those who stigmatize others and open counseling centers for the victimized. By doing this, the stigma will be reduced in society, thus leading to harmony and tranquility. Moreover, such a move would give the stigmatized a chance to show their strengths by performing something productive (Green, 2009).

Without adequate support from the government and individuals, the homeless and overweight people will continue to feel like outcasts within their own society. This reduces their self-esteem since most members of society do not want to associate with them. Their family and friends also often think that they are not productive, and therefore, not integrated into the community hence retaining the identity of deviance. It is thus imperative for all those concerned e.g., interested stakeholders, lobby groups, associations, individuals, and the government, to educate the nation through radio, TV, and newspapers.

Moreover, calling conferences and seminars where messages of awareness can be spread, training counselors who can handle such persons, opening more counseling centers, and punishing those who discriminate others can help in containing stigmatization. The society should further adopt the system of acceptance and co-operation with every member of society, no matter their differences (Henry, 2009).

Therefore, any society that wants to uphold its dignity and integrity must encourage its citizens to respect one another, irrespective of their differences. These differences may include race, ethnicity, or even beliefs. In addition, people who go against the set norms of the society should not be discriminated by being called social deviants but must be counseled and understood (Green, 2009.)

References

Florez, J. & Sartorius, N. (2008). Understanding the Stigma of Mental Illness: theory & interventions. London, LDN: John Wiley and Sons.

Green, G. (2009). End of Stigma?: Changes in the social experience of long-term illnesses. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis e-library.

Henry, S. (2009). Social Deviance. Malden, MA: Polity publishers.

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