Stigma leads to poorer health. Edited by Brenda Major, John F. Dovidio, and Bruce G. Link, The Oxford Handbook of Stigma, Discrimination, and Health provides compelling evidence from various disciplines in support of this thesis and explains how and why health disparities exist and persist.
Stigmatization involves distinguishing people by a socially conferred "mark," seeing them as deviant, and devaluing and socially excluding them. The core insight of this book is that the social processes of stigma reliably translate into the biology of disease and death. Contributors elucidate this
insight by showing exactly how stigma negatively affects health and creates health disparities through multiple mechanisms operating at different levels of influence.
Understanding the causes and consequences of health disparities requires a multi-level analysis that considers structural forces, psychological processes, and biological mechanisms. This volume's unique multidisciplinary approach brings together social and health psychologists, sociologists, public
health scholars, and medical ethicists to comprehensively assess stigma's impact on health. It goes beyond the common practice of studying one stigmatized group at a time to examine the stigma-health link across multiple stigmatized groups. This broad, multidisciplinary framework not only
illuminates the significant effects stigma has when aggregated across the health of many groups but also increases understanding of which stigma processes are general across groups and which are particular to specific groups.
Here, a compendium of leading international experts point readers toward potential policy responses and possibilities for intervention as well as to the large gaps in understanding that remain. This book is the definitive source of scholarship on stigma and physical health for established and [more...]
Brenda Major received her Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1998. She is currently a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her scholarship focuses on the social psychology of stigma and inequality. Her research interests include the psychological and physiological impact of prejudice and discrimination, how cultural ideologies shape entitlement and reactions to social inequality, the social and psychological impact of increasing ethnic diversity, and the psychology of resilience. John F. (Jack) Dovidio, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in 1977, is currently the Carl Iver Hovland Professor of Psychology and Public Health, as well as Dean of Academic Affairs of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, at Yale University. His research interests are in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination; social power and nonverbal communication; and altruism and helping. His scholarship focuses on understanding the dynamics of intergroup relations and ways to reduce intergroup bias and conflict. Bruce Link is Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University. His interests are centered on topics in psychiatric and social epidemiology as they bear on policy issues. He has written on the connection between socioeconomic status and health, homelessness, violence, stigma, and discrimination. With Jo Phelan, he has advanced the theory of social conditions as fundamental causes of disease. Currently he is conducting research on the life course origins of health inequalities by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, the consequences of social stigma for the life chances of people who are subject to stigma, and on evaluating intervention efforts aimed at reducing mental illness stigma in children attending middle school.