Skip to main content
Socialization, Role Attainment and Stigma Management in BDSM
Masters Theses & Specialist Projects
  • Ronald Lynn Hopper, Jr., Western Kentucky University
Publication Date
Advisor(s) - Committee Chair
Dr. Steve Groce (Director), Dr. Matt Pruitt, Dr. Carrie Trojan
Degree Program
Department of Sociology
Degree Type
Master of Arts

This research focuses on the methods of introduction into BDSM, role identification, and the management of private information as it relates to BDSM. The method utilized for this study was in-depth interviews of fifteen current participants in the BDSM subculture. It is primarily through peer association, sexual scripting, and impression management that new members are introduced, learn their role, and manage their information within the BDSM subculture. It was found that peer association is the primary method of socializing members. Role identification is accomplished through both a method of sexual scripting as well as complimentary differentiation, the process by which a stimulus is transmitted and received, and subsequent stimuli are transmitted back, reinterpreted and responded to. It is through impression management and stigma management that members learn to maintain the privacy of their participation. Future research should include additional analysis with a larger sample size to determine if the current findings will continue to hold true.

Citation Information
Ronald Lynn Hopper. "Socialization, Role Attainment and Stigma Management in BDSM" (2011)
Available at: