The Connection Between Silence and Stigma

Topics: Social stigma, Erving Goffman Pages: 5 (2054 words) Published: May 21, 2013
The Connection Between Silence and Stigma
Are people encouraging the silence of their stigmatized characteristics? The stigmatized attributes in societies today are known in all cultures but people who have these attributes always prefer to not show it, but in order to get help or get rid of these attributes, they need to talk about it and discuss it. Tumblr is a social network that encourages and supports the freedom of speech and to share principles, beliefs, and opinions about any thing they want. It permits its members to post pictures, text, quotes, links, videos, and music even if it is stigmatized. Upon researching these blogs and observing their community, I found that Tumblr’s users act really freely and discuss the most critical issues without a fear of publishing their opinions, and there was a lot of meaningful messages. Over the past years Tumblr has become more and more popular and people find it very convenience to express their interest and feeling by posing blogs especially for those who are struggling from certain disorders and cannot talk about in their real life, but Tumblr post a new policy against and prevent self-harm blogs recently and the language of this policy was clear. The Tumblr policy against self-harm blogs stigmatizes users who have self-harmed because it limits them from revealing and over coming their disorders and sickness. Tumblr new policy against pro-self-harm blogs content strongly aims to prevent posting any self-harm blogs. This policy limits the users, who are suffering from having anorexia, bulimia, and other forms of self-harm from exposing their illness. This policy have been stated on Tumblr website “Don't post content that actively promotes or glorifies self-harm…[like] embrace anorexia, bulimia…[and] seeking counseling or treatment, or joining together in supportive conversation with those suffering or recovering from depression or other conditions” (Follow Up: Tumblr’s New Policy Against Pro-Self-Harm Blogs). Their goal from posting this new policy is to restrict users, who have these difficulties; from publishing any blogs that explain or show their attitudes or their beliefs that influence the readers and encourage them to self-harm. Consequently, this policy clearly stigmatized people who self-harm because it points to not encourage Tumblr’s readers to be self-harmed and that shows that self-harm is one of the things that people should be embarrassed about. However, people, who have the desire to know more about self-harm, can find it anywhere in the internet even if it is not on Tumblr, but the main point is Tumblr was permitting its users to post any blogs about self-harm on the past so, those people already used to communicate through Tumblr’s blogs and that’s why there are huge mixed reactions from people, who support and not support this policy which is against self-harm blogs. In addition to defining Tumblr new policy against self-harm blogs, there are also many definitions of the term stigma but the best one is that stigma is like a black spot on someone’s character and it remains for a long time. Goffman, Erving in his article mentions many types of stigma like bad personality traits, weakness, mental disorder, criminality, unemployment, addiction, and mental disorder. Also, it can be defined as a mark of a social disgrace and a powerful negative label. Stigma can be applied based someone’s religious, country, skin, emotions, behavior, actions, job, and appearance and it vary from couture to another. In the article “Selections From Stigma,” Goffman informs that stigma is connected to the discredited attributes (204). Goffman here mentions the term sigma as characteristics that were disgraced by society, which carries dishonor or shame upon someone personality. Consequently, people who have one of these disgraced characters are usually stigmatized. For instance, People who were in the prison, they do not have the right to vote in certain states at U.S because...
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