Why is there a stigma about chiropractors

At the beginning of his study, Goffman leads conceptual clarifications to the stigma, the whole of his investigation being seen as an attempt to bring the stigma down to a concept.

With regard to people who approach us as strangers, we always cherish a certain expectation, tailored to the respective situation, of what the characteristics of this person should look like. We anticipate a certain identity that is appropriate to the social situation and that of Goffman as social identity referred to as. In this anticipation we unconsciously make certain demands on the social identity of the strangers facing us, whereby we always develop this demand in relation to the respective situation, which is why Goffman here of demands made 'in effect' speaks. These are demands that are made, as it were, in artificial expectation, and with this expected social identity Goffman speaks accordingly of that virtual social identity. This virtual social identity meets what the respective stranger actually shows in the interaction in terms of properties, that is - in Goffman's terminologist - on the actual social identity. (See Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 10)

When the actual social identity brought in by the stranger is the virtual social identity in a special way does not correspond, then what Goffman calls itself asserts itself stigma designated:

While the stranger is present before us, it can become evident that he possesses a quality that distinguishes him from others in the category of person available to him; and that quality can be of a less desirable kind - in the extreme, a person who is bad through and through, or dangerous, or weak. In our minds it is thus degraded from a whole and ordinary person to a tainted, impaired one. One such attribute is a stigma, especially when its discrediting effect is very extensive; sometimes it is also called a mistake, an inadequacy, a handicap. It constitutes a special discrepancy between virtual and actual social identity.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 10f .; emphasis added by kw)

Goffman distinguishes three types of stigma:

Three starkly different types of stigma can be mentioned. First there is Abominations of the body - the various physical deformations. Next there is individual flaws in character, perceived as weak will, dominant or unnatural passions, insidious and rigid opinions and dishonor, all of which are derived from a known catalog of, for example, mental confusion, imprisonment, addiction, alcoholism, homosexuality, unemployment, attempted suicide and radical political behavior. After all, there is phylogenetic schemes of race, nation and religion. These are the stigmas that are usually passed on from sex to sex and that contaminate all members of a family equally. (In the footnote inserted here, as an example for the third type, the Subclass status pointed out to one in recent history important phylogenetic stigma has become; Note from kw.)
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 12f .; emphasis added by kw)

Goffman first discusses attempts by stigmatized individuals to escape stigmatization altogether, in the case of physical deformation, for example through the means of plastic surgery, or in the case of individual character defects through the means of psychotherapy. In the case of physical handicaps, attempts can also be made to compensate for these through hard training, so that, for example, the paralyzed person via the Torture of learning learns again swim, ride a horse, play tennis, and pilot an airplane; similar to the blind man who becomes an excellent skier and mountaineer (Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 19). Conversely, the stigmatized person can try to deal with what is termed reality and expected social identity break and stubborn to elevate one's own identity to social identity or to classify it as at least as valuable as what is usually regarded as normal (cf. on this: Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 18ff.).

Such attempts at coping with the stigma, which should then be viewed more as attempts at elimination, are of less interest to Goffman. He is primarily concerned with the direct interaction of the stigmatized person with the normal and the strategies that are used:

However, this book deals specifically with the question of 'mixed contacts' - with the moments when the stigmatized and normal are in the same 'social situation', that is, in mutual, immediate physical presence, whether in a conversational encounter or in mere togetherness -being-an unstructured random collection. (...) When the normal and the stigmatized de facto enter their mutual immediate presence, especially when they try to maintain a common conventional encounter there, one of the plays original scenes of sociology from; for in many cases it will be these moments when the causes and effects of stigma must be confronted directly by both sides.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 22f .; emphasis added by kw)

Goffman points out how generally difficult this is 'mixed contacts' of stigmatized and normal people are how quickly even apparently helping behavior on the part of normal people can become a problem for the stigmatized.

A professional criminal reports how a normal person reacted to his reading of books:

'You know it's amazing that you read books like this, I'm amazed, really. I would have thought you'd read pocket thrillers, things with gaudy covers, books like that. And here I find you with Cloud Cockburn, Hugh Clare, Simone de Beauvoir, and Lawrence Durrell! '
You know, he didn't think that was an offensive remark at all: I think he really thought it was decent of himself to tell me how wrong he was. And that's exactly how righteous people treat you as patronizing if you are a criminal. 'It's weird,' they say, 'in some ways you're just like a human being!' Seriously, I feel like twisting their necks then.
(Quoted in: Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 25 (quoted from Parker and Allerton))

Goffman assumes that when the stigmatized and the normal meet Discomfort mostly on both sides, that is also felt by the normal:

Every possible source of embarrassment for the stigmatized in our presence (in the presence of us normal people, kw) becomes something that we instinctively feel that it is conscious, also conscious that we are conscious, even conscious our situation of awareness in terms of one's awareness; Then the stage is set for the infinite regress of mutual consideration, of which Mead's social psychology (meaning the social psychology of George Herbert Mead; kw) tells us how to start, but not how to stop.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 29)

3. Visible stigma (discredited person) or invisible stigma (discreditable person)

In the way in which stigmatized individuals cope with their situation, a multitude of external factors play a role in addition to the individual constitution of the person concerned. Goffman deduces an important difference from whether the stigma is known and clearly visible (discredited person) or whether the stigma is there, but little known and little visible (discreditable person).

If there is a discrepancy between the actual social identity of an individual and his or her virtual identity, it is possible that we are aware of this fact even before we normal people make contact with him, or that it is quite evident when the individual contacts us introduces. It is one discredited person (...).
However, if its otherness is not immediately obvious and not known in advance (or at least it is not aware of the fact that it is known to the others), (then) it is indeed one discreditable, not a discredited one person.

(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 56)

It is not at all easy to give examples of the discredited and examples of discreditable persons who are to be regarded as fully valid. A paralyzed boy, for example, usually appears as a discredited person, but strangers can too Assume for the moment that an accident has put him out of action, just as a blind man who is led into a dark taxi by a friend can find for a moment that he has been suspected of having eyesight (Goffman (1963) 2016: P. 95f.). This applies - attached here - even more with regard to contact via the media (telephone, e-mail, chat, etc.), in which the paralyzed or the blind person can remain undetected as discredited, so that they are discreditable here. Conversely, a prostitute, for example, appears outside of her everyday professional life as a discreditable person who is around the careful secrecy of their mistake from one class of person, the police is concerned while (they) systematically reveals themselves to other classes of people, namely customers, conspecifics, liaison men, stolen goods and the like (ibid), here then appears as a discredited person.

The main possibility in life one discredited person is, according to Goffman, that ...

... it acts as if its known otherness was irrelevant and ignored. (The crucial problem is then,) with the tensiongenerated during social contacts, To finish.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 56; emphasis added by kw)

The main possibility in life one discreditable person is, according to Goffman, that ...

... (them) the information about their mistake (controls). (The decisive problem here is then the control of the question of who can / must be informed about the error and who not, kw :) To open or not to open; to say or not to say; let out or not let out; to lie or not to lie; and in any case, to whom, how, when and where.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 56; emphasis added by kw)

This is the main problem to be overcome with interactions for the discredited person with normals in Voltage management and for the discreditable person with normals in Information management. However, since it cannot be said immediately and clearly for every interaction for an affected person whether they are in a discredited or a discreditable situation, they are likely to be confronted with both forms of coping, tension management and information management. That is why the two cannot always be clearly distinguished in the analysis. Taking this blurring into account, however, it can clearly be said that the first main chapter of Goffman's book (I. stigma and social identity) on discredited people and their tension management and the second main chapter of the book (2. Information control and personal identity) on discreditable persons and their information management is related. It should be added that the stigma is usually spoken of in the first generally visible case, which is why the word appears explicitly only in the first chapter heading. The discreditable person already has the stigma, but it is usually not perceived in social interaction, so it does not exist in this perspective.

4. Social identity as the basic problem of the discredited person and personal identity as the basic problem of the discreditable person

A particular difficulty in understanding Goffman's analysis is the distinction he made between social identity (central in the 1st chapter of the book) and personal identity (in the center of the 2nd chapter of the book). Goffman uses the terms in the chapters like separate (chemical) ingredients, which he explains for themselves, but for which he hardly explains the relationship between them.

The personal identity could be described here in a simplified way as the result of a bundle of attributes which a person unites and which - as a result of the special combination of attributes - makes them unique. If you refer to the three main attributes used above to determine the stigma, i.e. the physical appearance (Gender, height, weight, skin color, hair color, shape of the nose, etc.) individual character (Temperament, egocentrism, "philosophy", sexual preferences, etc.) and the phylogenetic appearance (Class affiliation, ethnicity, nation, religion, etc.), then the personal identity is basically determined by the particular combination of forms of the three attributes given to a person (including all facets of the particular hair color, the particular temperament, the particular nationalism or anti-nationalism etc.). This basically makes the person incomparable and gives them a personal identity.

With regard to the attributes just mentioned, there are expectations in society about the normative range in which forms have to be. This then determines the virtual social identity in an interaction as well as whether the personal identity the person who enters into an interaction and thereby becomes a actual social identity transformed, this one virtual social identity suffices or not suffices (the latter has already been explained above in the first stigma stipulation). The personal identity is always in a social interaction - and Goffman points this out too little clearly - to actual social identity, which is then sent to the virtual social identity is measured.

If this is clarified in this way, it can be made all the more understandable why Goffman said this in the first chapter Stress management with social identity (first case) and in the second chapter that Information management with personal identity(second case) thinks together.

In the first case the personal identity of the person with stigma with regard to stigma is disclosed and thus also the difference between virtual and actual social identity (discredited person), which is why it is essential for those interacting here to manage the tension between actual and virtual social identity. The focus here is therefore - and so thematized in the first chapter of the book - on the question of social identity.

In the second case the personal identity of the person with stigma regarding stigma is not disclosed (discreditable person)so that the difference between virtual and actual social identity, which is significant for stigmatization Not exists, i.e. no voltage management has to be carried out (social identity is not questionable). Instead, the problem arises of how to deal with the stigma that is invisible but that is part of personal identity. How can the person concerned manage the information about the secret moment of their personal identity in social interactions? Should she reveal them completely or not? The focus here is therefore - and so thematized in the second chapter of the book - on the question of personal identity.

5. On the tension management of the discredited person (question of social identity): Participating others, professionals, wise

The Voltage management with regard to the disclosed discrepancy between actual and virtual social identity is the main problem discredited person. Your social identity is a damaged one, causing tension beyond what is expected, and so those involved will try to reduce this tension. According to Goffman, an important strategy for relieving tension is that for the stigmatized individual, for example those born without a nose ...

... participating others who are ready to make their point of view in the world their own and to share with them the feeling that despite all appearances and even though they doubt themselves, it is human and 'essentially' normal. (...)
In the first category sympathizing other, of course, includes those who share his stigma.(...) (A hearing-impaired person says :) 'I remember how relaxing it was in Nitchie School to be with people who took bad hearing for granted.' (...) Then there are the clumping self-help clubs, formed from the divorced, the old, the obese, the physically handicapped, the people with artificial anus. (...)
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 30ff .; emphasis added by kw; quotation from Warfield)

If the social interactions only take place between the hard of hearing, for example, then this generates something like its own virtual social identity, which all hard of hearing can best satisfy with their current social identity. The said tension between the two identities is then considerably reduced.

Then there is lobbyOrganizations that stand up for the (possibly their own) group with stigma and special persons with stigma who represent the group as - as they are called by Goffman - Professional appear and stand up to the norms for the situation of the whole group. This also serves to reduce tension and strengthen the social identity of the stigmatized. (See Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 35ff.)

The second group are - to borrow a term that was once used among homosexuals - the 'Point', namely people who are normal, but whose special situation has made them intimate and compassionate with the secret life of the stigmatized and to whom it happens that they are granted a degree of acceptance, a kind of honorary membership in the clan. Wise persons are the borderline persons, in front of whom the individual with a mistake does not need to feel ashamed or exercise self-control, because he knows that he is regarded as an ordinary person despite his lack.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 40; italics with kw)

So, for example, finds the prostitute in their free time they take refuge with the bohemian artists, with writers, actors and would-be intellectuals. There she can be accepted as an unusual personality without being a curiosity (Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 41).

Goffman goes on that too moral history from people with stigma:

A phase of this socialization process is that in which the stigmatized person gets to know and assimilates the point of view of the normal and thereby acquires the belief in the identity of the wider society and a general idea of ​​what it would be like to have a certain stigma (that would be knowledge the special difference between virtual and actual social identity, kw). Another phase is where she learns that she has a certain stigma, and this time in detail the consequence of having it. The succession and interlocking of these two early stages in the moral career form important patterns of behavior, laying the groundwork for later development and providing a means of distinguishing between the moral paths available to the stigmatized. Four such behavior patterns can be mentioned.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 45)

In the first patternan orphan boy learns (for example) that children naturally and normally have parents, especially when he learns what it means to have none (Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 45f.).

In the second pattern A stigmatized child can first be protected from being socially stigmatized by information-controlling parents. But that can change suddenly, for example when the child starts school, where the child is with due to his stigma Mockery, teasing, ostracism and beating (Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 45) is confronted and immediately gets to feel that it has a stigma.

It can also lead to forms of accidental unveiling come:

I believe that the first awareness of my situation, and the first intense grief that resulted from that awareness, came quite accidentally one day while a group of us, in our early teen years, was spending the day at the beach. I was lying on the sand and I suspect the boys and girls thought I was sleeping. One of the boys said, 'I like Domenica a lot, but I would never date a blind girl.' I can't think of any prejudice that rejects you so completely.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 47 (quoted from Henrich and Kriegel))

In the third pattern a person is confronted with their own stigma only at an advanced age, for example as a result of a sudden physical ailment. Probably its particular problem will be its re-identification, and with a particular probability it will develop a disapproval of itself (Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 48) This person is then confronted with the problem that they are suddenly one of those who they themselves previously more or less consciously degraded.

In the fourth pattern Reference is made to the peculiarity that, as a result of a newly added stigma (e.g. blindness), a person between dealing with Pre-stigma acquaintances and dealing with Post-stigma acquaintances learns to distinguish. Dealing with second acquaintances seems to be less stressful:

My job (as a blind scribe interviewing prospective clients for his literary product) was to take the pressure off the men I had come to see - the opposite of the usual situation. Oddly enough, I found it much easier with men I had never met before. Perhaps because there were no memories to discuss with strangers before getting down to business, and so there was no unpleasant contrast with the present.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 47 (quoted from Chevigny))

6. On the information management of the stigmatizable person (question of personal identity): deception and information control

in case of an undetectable stigmas the tension management between virtual and actual social identity is not the basic problem, since these seem to match, but the question of the extent to which the person with an unclear stigma should or should not inform others about this stigma. That is what is meant by Informationmanagement.

If a person is afflicted with a stigma, but this is not evident in the concrete social situation (e.g. that he is a former mentally ill person, that she is a prostitute, that he is a criminal, etc.), then this person is faced with the question of whether or not she should keep the attribute belonging to her personality to herself. Often, out of fear of otherwise being socially downgraded, she will keep the information to herself, so the other participants in the interaction must be more or less aware of her personal identity To deceive. To deceive is described by Goffman as the central means of discreditable persons to overcome their stigma (see Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 94ff.). But then the person cannot really be himself and has to that extent with his personal identity to fight.

At the To deceive A wide variety of problems arise. A central one is that in certain situations the discretable person then has to openly reveal their stigma, so to speak, because this is part of securing their livelihood (for example of the vagabond or the prostitute).

Vagrants, for example, no matter what role they assume in the presence of the police, often have to reveal themselves to housewives in order to get a free meal, and may even have to reveal their status to passers-by because they are entertained on the porch, which they understandably a ' Call exhibition dinner '.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 95)

This is where it happens that third parties find out about the stigma who shouldn't actually experience it. If the person with stigma tries to deceive these third parties elsewhere about their stigma - that they are a tramp, for example - this will no longer succeed because they are identified. One also has to think of the situation of the poor who can hide their poverty until they have to seek help from a social welfare office in order to be identified as 'poor' in the first place and thus only to be degraded ( as described by Georg Simmel).

For example, if a prostitute deceives her parents and relatives that she works as a prostitute, there is always the risk that they will discover her. This is how a call girl says:

"I always look around the room quickly when I go to parties," she says. 'You never know. Once I ran into two of my cousins ​​right in the arms. You were with a couple of call girls and didn't even nod to me. I acted on it, hoping they would be too self-absorbed to wonder at me. I always wondered what I would do if I ran into my dad because he was so busy. '
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 99 (quoted from Stearn))

Conversely, especially in the case of physical ailments such as hearing loss or stuttering, it is often the case that the closer family circle knows about the error, but not the wider circle of people in which the person concerned is involved. A stutterer says:

We have many elaborate tricks to hide or minimize our blockages. We keep an eye out for tongue twister sounds and words. We avoid 'tongue twisters' where we can by substituting unafraid words or hastily changing our thoughts until the context of our speech becomes as tangled as a plate of spaghetti.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 114 (quoted from Riper))

Those affected are always more or less afraid of whether the deception will succeed and the stigma will not be discovered. Incidentally, it can also be that individual normals already know about the stigma, but for their part pretend that they do not know. The deceptive person with stigma also never knows what effect a discovery will have, whether the social interaction is charged from then on (the first main possibility described above) or whether the "discoverer" is perhaps a 'wise man' (cf. also above), which would then be a relief.

A deaf person reports of the discovery of their stigma:

'Why don't you try a chiropractor?' She asked me (a casual acquaintance) while chewing corned beef and not showing the slightest sign that she was about to rip the floor off my feet. 'Dr. Fletcher told me that he was curing one of his patients of deafness. '
'My father is deaf,' she revealed. 'I can find out a deaf person anywhere. That small voice from them. And this trick of letting your sentences ebb away - not finishing them. Father does that all the time. '
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 110 (quoted from Warfield))

So deception is not always easy, and sometimes there are signs - Goffman speaks of Stigma symbols -, which their bearers can reveal:

There are stigma symbols that provide examples: the wrist marks, which reveal that an individual has attempted suicide; the puncture scars on the arms of drug addicts; the handcuffed joints of convicts in transit; or blue eyes (in prostitutes).
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 60)

And then there are the very malicious practices where, to identify a criminal, for example, initials are burned in or ears are clipped (vgl.Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 61, fn 9). The aim here is to allow conclusions to be drawn from the labeling about the stigma that is not visible in itself (e.g. the dishonor of being a criminal). A person marked in this way is then no longer able to deceive. That also refers to the historical origin from the stigma:

The Greeks, who apparently liked visual aids, created the term stigma as a reference to physical signs that were intended to reveal something unusual or bad about the moral condition of the person carrying the sign. The marks were cut or burned into the body and publicly announced that the wearer was a slave, a criminal or a traitor - a branded, ritually declared unclean person who should be avoided, especially in public places. (...) Today the term is used largely to approximate its original literal sense, but applied more to dishonor itself than to its physical appearance.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 9)

The people with stigma in turn develop their signs, but here precisely to prevent them from being discovered on the street, for example. This then primarily serves what Goffman called it Information control.

The professional call girl has a code that regulates her relationships with her customers. For a call girl, for example, it is customary never to show any signs of recognition to a customer (here to protect the customer, kw) when she meets him in public, unless he greets her first.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 9 (quoted from Greenwald))

The relatives of stigmatized persons (such as the wives of husbands in prison) can also be indirectly affected by the stigma and accordingly pay attention to whom they disclose the information about the man's whereabouts. This field of - as Goffman calls it - Information control techniques(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 116ff.) is far.

7. An adaptive technique that lies between voltage and information management: enveloping

A strict distinction has been made between the situation of the discredited, who has to manage tension, and the situation of the discreditable, who has to manage information. However, the stigmatized use an adaptive technique that requires the researcher to bring these two possibilities together. It's about the difference between visibility and embarrassing intrusiveness. (...)
So it happens that a girl who can get by on her wooden leg uses crutches or an elaborate but obviously artificial limb when she is in company. This process is called Enveloping are designated. Many of those who seldom try to deceive usually try to cope.
(Goffman (1963) 2016: p. 128f .; emphasis added by kw)

In enveloping, the stigma is known to the normal and the person concerned does not try to deceive about its existence, but disguises the stigma in such a way that it is less intrusive in the interaction. The cladding also serves to deceive, but it is not about the complete elimination of tension, but only about reducing the tension.

Goffman points out that social interactions require certain labels, behaviors, etc. that are so self-evident that we generally don't even notice them. Only when these self-evident facts are no longer adhered to, i.e., for example, if the other person does not look us in the face (because they are blind) or they do not take part in the conversation (because they are hard of hearing), do these self-evident - due to non-compliance - become Raised awareness. This creates the aforementioned tension in the interaction. And here the stigmatized people try to relieve tension in advance by means of enveloping, for example by practicing as a blind person looking at the other person speaking, or as the hard of hearing always trying to sit next to someone with a strong voice at dinner, etc. (See Goffman (1963) 2016: pp. 130f.)

To be continued in the next comment K167 ...