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The Exclusion and Control Functions of Stigma

Stigma serves several functions, and among them, exclusion and control are prominent. Here's a brief explanation of these functions:
  1. Exclusion: Stigma often operates as a mechanism for social exclusion. Individuals who are stigmatized may be marginalized or isolated from mainstream society. This exclusion can occur in various settings, including social, educational, or workplace environments. People who are stigmatized may face discrimination, prejudice, and avoidance by others, leading to a sense of isolation and limited opportunities.
  2. Control: Stigma can also function as a form of social control. Society may use stigma to enforce norms, values, or power structures. By stigmatizing certain behaviors, identities, or conditions, society aims to regulate and control individuals who deviate from established norms. This can be a way to maintain social order and conformity to prevailing cultural or societal expectations.
In summary, the functions of exclusion and control through stigma contribute to the social dynamics that influence how individuals are perceived and treated within a community. Stigma, therefore, plays a role in shaping social norms and maintaining perceived order but can also lead to significant negative consequences for those who experience it.

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