Social Stigma and its Consequences for the Socially Stigmatized



This paper presents an integrative review of current and classic theory and research on social stigma and its consequences for the socially stigmatized. Specific attention is paid to stigma-related processes surrounding race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. The origins and perpetration of social stigma are discussed alongside perspectives on how stigmatized groups and individuals experience stigma-related stress. Consideration is given to responses to stigma in the form of coping, social support, and meaning-making processes. Both the potential negative and positive consequences of social stigma are highlighted in this review through the integration of predominant social psychological theory with emerging critical and feminist theories of positive marginality and resistance. The paper culminates in a theoretical process model designed to provoke future theory and research that share its integrative aims.