Stigma: An insider's View

Daphna Oyserman, Janet K. Swim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The literature on stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination has typically focused on the ways dominant groups negatively view and respond to minority groups. We suggest an insider's perspective to focus attention on the stereotyped or stigmatized ingroup's responses, experiences, and beliefs and the paradox of being both an active constructor of one's everyday reality and an involuntary target of negative attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs that shape this reality. We propose that an insider's perspective affords a view of stigmatized groups as actively seeking to make sense of their social world and attain positive outcomes, not simply avoid negative outcomes. In this sense, an insider's perspective acknowledges that stigmatized groups are not simply victims or passive recipients of stereotyping but rather actively attempt to construct a buffering life space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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