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Stigma, Prejudice

 

Article Date: 07 Mar 2011 – 0:00 PST


People in marginalized groups, such as the disabled or racial minorities, feel stigmatized – condemned, feared, or excluded – when other people stigmatize them. That’s obvious. But they can also feel stigma when nobody blatantly discriminates against them or says a negative word.


These folks aren’t paranoid, suggests a new study of HIV-positive people and their communities to be published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association of Psychological Science. Rather, they’re picking up subtle clues from their communities.


“Society is changing when it comes to prejudice,” says psychological scientist Carol Miller, who conducted the study with University of Vermont colleagues Kristin Grover, Janice Bunn, and Sondra Solomon. “Most people don’t want to be prejudiced” – yet the culture teaches us bias, and despite ourselves, “sometimes we express it. “


In the effort to suppress prejudice, motives vary. “Internally motivated” people value tolerance and abhor stereotyping. The “externally motivated” respond to social pressure. In either group, bias can “leak out,” says Miller. But those who harbor more prejudice are more likely to experience anti-discriminatory norms as coercive, or “politically correct” – and want to disregard them.


Read in Full:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/218212.php



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