Stigma, identity and power: Managing stigmatized identities through discourse

Sammy Toyoki, A D Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We analyse how men incarcerated in Helsinki Prison managed through talk their stigmatized identities as prisoners. Three strategies are identified: ‘appropriation’ of the label ‘prisoner’; claiming coveted social identities; and representing oneself as a ‘good’ person. The research contribution we make is to show how inmates dealt with their self-defined stigmatized identities through discourse, and how these strategies were effects of power. We argue that stigmatized identities are best theorized in relation to individuals’ repertoires of other (non-stigmatized) identities which they may draw on to make supportive self-claims. Prisoners, like other kinds of organizational participants, we argue, have often considerable scope for managing diverse, fragile, perhaps even contradictory, understandings of their selves.
LanguageEnglish
Pages715-737
Number of pages22
JournalHuman Relations
Volume67
Issue number6
Early online date10 Dec 2013
DOIs
StatusPublished - 1 Jun 2014

Fingerprint

Prisons
Labels
prisoner
discourse
correctional institution
Discourse
Stigma
human being
Prisoners

Keywords

  • Stigma
  • identity
  • identity work
  • discourse
  • prisons
  • prisoners
  • power

Cite this

Stigma, identity and power : Managing stigmatized identities through discourse. / Toyoki, Sammy; Brown, A D.

In: Human Relations, Vol. 67, No. 6, 01.06.2014, p. 715-737 .

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{c92edc57035c4ca09fc4574698069a49,
title = "Stigma, identity and power: Managing stigmatized identities through discourse",
abstract = "We analyse how men incarcerated in Helsinki Prison managed through talk their stigmatized identities as prisoners. Three strategies are identified: ‘appropriation’ of the label ‘prisoner’; claiming coveted social identities; and representing oneself as a ‘good’ person. The research contribution we make is to show how inmates dealt with their self-defined stigmatized identities through discourse, and how these strategies were effects of power. We argue that stigmatized identities are best theorized in relation to individuals’ repertoires of other (non-stigmatized) identities which they may draw on to make supportive self-claims. Prisoners, like other kinds of organizational participants, we argue, have often considerable scope for managing diverse, fragile, perhaps even contradictory, understandings of their selves.",
keywords = "Stigma, identity, identity work, discourse, prisons, prisoners, power",
author = "Sammy Toyoki and Brown, {A D}",
year = "2014",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0018726713503024",
language = "English",
volume = "67",
pages = "715--737",
journal = "Human Relations",
issn = "0018-7267",
publisher = "Sage Publications",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Stigma, identity and power

T2 - Human Relations

AU - Toyoki, Sammy

AU - Brown, A D

PY - 2014/6/1

Y1 - 2014/6/1

N2 - We analyse how men incarcerated in Helsinki Prison managed through talk their stigmatized identities as prisoners. Three strategies are identified: ‘appropriation’ of the label ‘prisoner’; claiming coveted social identities; and representing oneself as a ‘good’ person. The research contribution we make is to show how inmates dealt with their self-defined stigmatized identities through discourse, and how these strategies were effects of power. We argue that stigmatized identities are best theorized in relation to individuals’ repertoires of other (non-stigmatized) identities which they may draw on to make supportive self-claims. Prisoners, like other kinds of organizational participants, we argue, have often considerable scope for managing diverse, fragile, perhaps even contradictory, understandings of their selves.

AB - We analyse how men incarcerated in Helsinki Prison managed through talk their stigmatized identities as prisoners. Three strategies are identified: ‘appropriation’ of the label ‘prisoner’; claiming coveted social identities; and representing oneself as a ‘good’ person. The research contribution we make is to show how inmates dealt with their self-defined stigmatized identities through discourse, and how these strategies were effects of power. We argue that stigmatized identities are best theorized in relation to individuals’ repertoires of other (non-stigmatized) identities which they may draw on to make supportive self-claims. Prisoners, like other kinds of organizational participants, we argue, have often considerable scope for managing diverse, fragile, perhaps even contradictory, understandings of their selves.

KW - Stigma

KW - identity

KW - identity work

KW - discourse

KW - prisons

KW - prisoners

KW - power

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018726713503024

U2 - 10.1177/0018726713503024

DO - 10.1177/0018726713503024

M3 - Article

VL - 67

SP - 715

EP - 737

JO - Human Relations

JF - Human Relations

SN - 0018-7267

IS - 6

ER -