Stigma and Its Effects on Self-Concept: An Examination of the Qualitative Differences between the Stigmas Associated with the Physically Disabled and the Mentally Ill
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My aim is to explore the stigmas surrounding the mentally ill and the physically disabled and examine the ways in which these stigmas express themselves in the individuals thus labelled. First, stigmas are, in essence, dynamic social processes. In chapter one, we will build a model of interaction which will provide the background and theoretical framework for understanding the subsequent analysis. Next, given this model, one could reasonably expect that differences would exist in the stigmas associated with each group. Thus, in chapter two, we will take a look at the personal elements of stigma. With these characteristics in mind, we will examine the stigmas associated with the two groups to determine what similarities or discrepancies exist between the two and see what effects any differences might have in the self-concepts of the afflicted in each group. This brings us to the final portion of this paper, an analysis of the social context or environment and an appreciation for the tremendous impact of society upon the individuals which comprise it.
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