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Part V Chapter 29. Part 5: Ch. 29 One of the most radical, deviant, and stigmatized social movements in the U.S. Embracing the identity obliges one to.

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Presentation on theme: "Part V Chapter 29. Part 5: Ch. 29 One of the most radical, deviant, and stigmatized social movements in the U.S. Embracing the identity obliges one to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Part V Chapter 29

2 Part 5: Ch. 29

3 One of the most radical, deviant, and stigmatized social movements in the U.S. Embracing the identity obliges one to openly challenge views of others, but also opens them to severe ire & indignation in a multicultural society Thus some cover their identities & attempt to get along with others This in turn creates dissonance Part 5: Ch. 29


5 Multi-method approach: interviews, participant observation, content analysis Interviews with 89 WPM members – 65 males & 24 females (N = 89) Participant observation with Christian Identity adherents from Arizona, Utah, Idaho & S. California Content analysis of WPM websites & other literature Part 5: Ch. 29


7 Family don’t necessarily share WPM members’ views, which is significant source of tension Friendships strained as a result of WPM beliefs & loss of close companions Part 5: Ch. 29

8 Leading a Double Life : Most feel the need to conceal their Aryan identities given the relational, emotional & financial costs Strategic Silence : Helps maintain family & bonds & friendships without drawing attention to their extreme racism Selective Disclosure : Expression of their politics but in the most “politically correct” manner possible so as not to alienate others Part 5: Ch. 29

9 Workplace is most significant source of tension where Aryans confront a diverse world – the antithesis of their desires Employers encouragement of learning a foreign language, for example, seen as capitulation to multicultural ethics Thus keeping their jobs means outwardly conforming to an “oppressive” cultural diversity Part 5: Ch. 29

10 Avoiding Others : Aryans are practical in their unrealistic expectations of an all-white society, but will go out of their to avoid others False Fronts : “Getting over” or “fooling” others into thinking they are open-minded & accepting of all Part 5: Ch. 29

11 Strategic Silence : Helps maintain cordial relationships with coworkers without drawing attention to their extreme racism Often read racist literature secretly Listen to Aryan musicS Surf white power websites Part 5: Ch. 29

12 Aryans must negotiate how much of themselves they will show in public settings – restaurants, stores, banks, etc. Public places seen as culturally diverse spaces & another context where multiculturalism is supported Thus a sense of alienation in public exists for most Aryans Part 5: Ch. 29

13 Passive Displays : Use of tattoos, clothing, etc. to identify oneself as Aryan while suppressing more active expressions such as loud racist talk, overt confrontations, etc. Active Displays : Seen as acts of courage such as racist talk, shaven head, WPM t-shirt, etc. Public Legitimation : Expressing exact opposite of what is expected of Aryans such as conversing & shaking hands with non-whites; giving impression of being culturally civil Part 5: Ch. 29

14 Use of various ploys of concealment & revelation helps Aryans project image that hides most of their extremism What to conceal and/or reveal not straightforward How dissonance is managed is crucial to sustaining activist identity Mundane everyday struggles demonstrate creative capacities for persistence & inventiveness occurring under social constraints Part 5: Ch. 29

15 How appropriately do Aryans reconcile their prejudicial views in a multicultural society that they, in large part, have to be a part of? Do all Aryans wish to exist in a white-only society without non-whites? Part 5: Ch. 29

16 Part V Chapter 30

17 Homeless are stigmatized: A disadvantaged populations who do not have means to engage in successful social interaction due to lack of power Stigma of homelessness has both macro-level structural elements and micro-level processes Although stigma of homelessness is a result of structural relationships, the way that the homeless manage their stigma interpersonally may be studied in its own right Part 5: Ch. 30

18 Since Goffman’s work on stigma management, there has been an assumption that the latter lessen stigma and result in positive outcomes: a degree of normalcy More attention needs to be given to ways in which such stigma management strategies may produce negative outcomes and further spoil one’s identity Homeless kids are social outcasts and their stigma management efforts lessen stigma and produce positive results Their sigma management strategies also lead to unanticipated and negative consequences Part 5: Ch. 30


20 Research site: San Francisco organization that provides homeless families with a variety of support services and about 100 children (age 5 to 18) annually Participant observation over 4 years of several homeless center settings Informal interviews many of which were taped and transcribed Part 5: Ch. 30

21 Formal, taped interviews with 97 homeless kids and parents (N = 97) Equal ratio of males to females 40% African American, 30% white, 20% Latino, 10% multiracial All children live with at least one parent (no runaways) Many suffer from variety of physical, emotional and developmental issues Part 5: Ch. 30

22 Homeless often perceived negatively as undeserving and responsible for their predicament Homeless kids aware of this negative view and fact that others see them as undesirable and often expressed anxiety about being demonized by the public: they felt homeless stigma Part 5: Ch. 30

23 Homeless kids employ two sets of stigma management strategies: Strategies of inclusion : conform to social norms of appropriate behavior that aim at creating harmonious environment with both peers and strangers Reflect desire to eradicate boundary between homeless and non-homeless and to be seen just as kids Part 5: Ch. 30

24 Strategies of exclusion : attempts to gain social acceptance but not necessarily at creating harmonious atmosphere: overall conciliatory Homeless kids attempt to reduce status by declaring themselves tougher, more mature and better than others: verbal denigration and physical and sexual posturing Such behavior seen as aggressive, maladaptive and threatening, resulting in further rejection and stigmatization Part 5: Ch. 30

25 Forging friendships Opportunity provided for friendships with non-homeless, adult volunteers and staff at center who helped kids develop more favorable self-images Center also provided kids with opportunity to befriend other, impoverished young newcomers by serving as mentors which helped self-esteem of both parties Part 5: Ch. 30

26 Passing Adopting dress and demeanor of non-homeless kids Selecting outfits from donated clothing on basis of style over function to better fit in Using code words that suggest they belong to same social world and group as non-homeless kids, increasing chances of friendship and inclusion Part 5: Ch. 30

27 Covering Reducing effects their stigma elicits by making it less obtrusive and object of attention Such as when homeless kids would visit home of a non-homeless friend whose family knew their status yet would try to dress and behave as normatively as possible Part 5: Ch. 30

28 Verbal denigration “Defensive othering” is common among homeless kids and involves maligning others as way to augment their own status and self- esteem Gays often targeted by the kids and allows them to place someone lower than themselves on the social hierarchy A second target is homeless street people who lack a shelter, motel or transitional housing of the kids’ families Part 5: Ch. 30

29 Physical posturing Use of aggressive body language, especially the “cool pose” of the ghetto gangsters, when non-homeless kids appeared Also employing tougher and louder verbal language and ghetto jargon in presence of non-homeless kids While such tactics may lessen homeless stigma, it also reinforced their stigmatization by intimidating their nonhomeless peers Part 5: Ch. 30

30 Sexual posturing Some homeless kids used sexuality to validate themselves Several young women dressed in overtly sexualized ways and boys bragged of their sexual prowess to gain status among their peers and empowered identity Part 5: Ch. 30

31 Which strategies of exclusion are most effective in legitimizing homeless individuals’ sense of worth? Which strategies of inclusion are least effective in helping homeless individuals feel as though they are a part of a larger community? Part 5: Ch. 30

32 Part V Chapter 31

33 Women are evaluated by men in terms of their appearance while men more likely to be evaluated in terms of their occupational status and income potential In U.S., fat is stigmatizing and women may feel shame about their bodies and result in eating disorders Internalization of beauty norms among adolescent girls produces high body dissatisfaction and sense of body shame This study examines how three “appearance organizations” help members to manage their shame Part 5: Ch. 31


35 Participant observation & in-depth interviews over two years Researcher gained 25 pounds to better fit into the fat clubs Completed interviews for 69 females and 17 men (n=86) Part 5: Ch. 31

36 Overeaters Anonymous : a program for compulsive overeaters, 86% female, enforces 12 step program based on AA Overeaters Anonymous was most difficult to gain entry into, settled for local audiotape library Weight Watchers : leading national weight loss organization in the US with revenues of $1.3 billion and 95% female National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance : describes itself as civil rights organization in the “size rights movement” Part 5: Ch. 31

37 Frames : definitions of the situation which are built up in accordance with the principles of organization that govern social events (Goffman) Organizational frames are those definitions constructed by organizational actors within which experience, interaction, and communication are structured Frame alignment : linkage of individual interpretations to organizational meanings & definitions Part 5: Ch. 31

38 Organizational frame of OA: redemption Redemptive model of treatment aimed at developing a spiritual consciousness via a therapeutic group process Compulsive overeating seen as an incurable disease in which a person has lost all will power of choice over food Members develop relationships with their sponsors, a person with experience who serves as friend, confessor, friend, advocate and spiritual leader Redemption is achieved as one “works through denial” with help of sponsor and friends and the program’s 12 steps Part 5: Ch. 31

39 1. We admitted that we were powerless over food – that our lives had become unmanageable. 2. Came to believe that a power higher than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him. 4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves. 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character. The Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous Part 5: Ch. 31

40 7. Humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings. 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them. 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out. 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs. The Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous Part 5: Ch. 31

41 NAAFA: activism NAAFA mobilizes lobbying efforts for legislative bills, rallies, protests, etc WW: rationality Weekly WW meetings occur at weight loss centers Members must develop a meal plan and take daily food inventory of eating Goal to reduce body weight not spiritual redemption Part 5: Ch. 31

42 Shame work : emotional labor aimed at evoking, removing or managing shame Like other forms of emotion work, shame work includes communicative and expressive action that may take both communicative and expressive action Part 5: Ch. 31

43 Overeaters Anonymous Primary sources of shame are social, residing in interaction episodes with significant others who have knowingly or not evoked it Goal of program is for one to develop a self- awareness of the shame, a process facilitated by sponsor, and meetings Working through denial is facilitated by “hitting bottom” or hitting lowest possible point in one’s life Part 5: Ch. 31

44 Shame work in WW WW group leaders claim body shame as exclusive to women’s experiences Shame management led by WW personnel and includes remedial work during weight loss meetings and teaching clients strategies for minimizing body shame This may involve supplying clients with viable “excuses” Part 5: Ch. 31

45 Shame work in NAAFA In contrast to avowing or managing shame, NAAFA members contest it A fat identity is embraced and affirmed The identity is see as relevant in all of members’ daily activities, even grocery shopping Part 5: Ch. 31



48 What underlying factors make such organizations more attractive to females than males? Which of these organizations was able to circumvent the tendency for their participants to feel shame and stigma? Part 5: Ch. 31

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