UCL Philosophy


Allison - Stigma: The Shaming Model

3 July 2023

Euan Allison: Stigma: The Shaming Model (2023), European Journal of Philosophy

According to a dominant view of stigma, a person is stigmatized within a community if sufficiently many people within that community hold a bad view of her. I call this the 'Bad View Model'. In this paper, I argue against the Bad View Model on the grounds that such beliefs are neither necessary nor sufficient for stigma, and that the account cannot explain the distinctive phenomenology of stigma, including certain vulnerabilities to shame. I then develop an alternative that explains these features of stigma, which I call the 'Shaming Model'. On this view, a person is stigmatized within a community if she is shamed by members of that community, and this is explained by their belief that she has deviated from some social norm and/or standard.