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Contesting Stigma: On Goffman's Assumptions of Normative Order
Symbolic Interaction (2004)
  • Abdi M. Kusow, Oakland University
Goffman's classic analysis of stigma tacitly suggests that it has a conditional nature. An important shortcoming, however, is that his analysis proceeds from the existence of a normatively shared understanding of the criteria for and the distribution of stigma assignment. I use data from Somali immigrants to Canada to further that argument by showing that stigma as a social object cannot be created when its cultural and structural contexts are disjunctive. Through reverse stigmatization, counter devaluation, and rejection of discrimination, Somalis reveal the problematics of stigma establishment and therein raise the question of who is stigmatizing whom.
Publication Date
Spring 2004
Citation Information
Abdi M. Kusow. "Contesting Stigma: On Goffman's Assumptions of Normative Order" Symbolic Interaction Vol. 27 Iss. 2 (2004) p. 179 - 197 ISSN: 01956086
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