Stigma and Status: The Interrelation of Two Theoretical Perspectives
Author(s): Jeffrey W. Lucas, Jo C. Phelan
Abstract: This article explicates and distinguishes the processes that produce status orders and those that produce stigmatization. It describes an experimental study in which participants were assigned interaction partners before completing a task where they had opportunities to be influenced by the partners and opportunities to socially reject the partners. Results show clear influence effects of educational attainment and mental illness but no effects for physical disability. Social distance effects are present for mental illness and physical disability but not for educational attainment. Results additionally show that stigmatizing attributes combine with task ability in affecting influence and also suggest that task ability may reduce social rejection. These results indicate that stigmatizing attributes combine with status markers in a way similar to previously studied status attributes. The findings extend traditions of research on status and stigma while also having potentially important implications for strategies to reduce inequalities based on mental illness.
Publication Title: Social Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 75 (4)
Pub Year: 2012
Pages: 310 – 333
URL: doi: 10.1177/0190272512459968
Keywords: status processes, influence

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