The Dilemma of Difference

A Multidisciplinary View of Stigma

  • Stephen C. Ainlay
  • Gaylene Becker
  • Lerita M. Coleman

Part of the Perspectives in Social Psychology book series (PSPS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Stigma Reconsidered

    1. Stephen C. Ainlay, Lerita M. Coleman, Gaylene Becker
      Pages 1-13
  3. Stigma and Social Marginality

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Stephen C. Ainlay, Faye Crosby
      Pages 17-37
    3. Gaylene Becker, Regina Arnold
      Pages 39-57
    4. Howard M. Solomon
      Pages 59-76
    5. Mark C. Stafford, Richard R. Scott
      Pages 77-91
  4. The Stigmatizing Process

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 93-93
    2. Jennifer Crocker, Neil Lutsky
      Pages 95-121
    3. Frederick X. Gibbons
      Pages 123-144
    4. Larry G. Martin
      Pages 145-161
    5. Oscar A. Barbarin
      Pages 163-184
    6. Carol K. Sigelman, Louise C. Singleton
      Pages 185-208
  5. Stigma, Continuity, and Change

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 209-209
    2. Lerita M. Coleman
      Pages 211-232
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 233-262

About this book


The topic of stigma came to the attention of modern-day behav­ ioral science in 1963 through Erving Goffman's book with the engaging title, Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. Following its publication, scholars in such fields as an­ thropology, clinical psychology, social psychology, sociology, and history began to study the important role of stigma in human interaction. Beginning in the early 1960s and continuing to the present day, a body of research literature has emerged to extend, elaborate, and qualify Goffman's original ideas. The essays pre­ sented in this volume are the outgrowth of these developments and represent an attempt to add impetus to theory and research in this area. Much of the stigma research that has been conducted since 1963 has sought to test one or another of Goffman's notions about the effects of stigma on social interactions and the self. Social and clinical psychologists have tried to experimentally create a number of the effects that Goffman asserted stigmas have on ordinary social interactions, and sociologists have looked for eVidence of the same in survey and observational studies of stig­ matized people in situations of everyday life. By 1980, a consider­ able body of empirical evidence had been amassed about social stigmas and the devastating effects they can have on social interactions.


identity interaction psychology social psychology sociology

Editors and affiliations

  • Stephen C. Ainlay
    • 1
  • Gaylene Becker
    • 2
  • Lerita M. Coleman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SociologyHoly Cross CollegeWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Health and Aging, School of NursingUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Bibliographic information