Traumatic Brain Injury, Labeling Theory and Societal Stigmatization Part 1
Posted by Second Chance to Live on July 8, 2013
Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. Thank you. I have been thinking about some thing that I would like to share with you. When I was attending junior college many years ago one of the courses that I enrolled in and attended was Sociology. The course was an elective and a pre-requisite. I am glad that I had the opportunity to attend the classes and learn from the course.
The study of Sociology gives insights into how various factors impact society such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, and social class that affect work and how organizations run. During the course of my studies in that class I discovered some thing that has stayed with me for long after completing the class in Sociology. What I discovered was the impact of what I heard described as, “labeling theory”. According to Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia:
“Labeling theory holds that deviance is not inherent to an act, but instead focuses on the tendency of majorities to negatively label minorities or those seen as deviant from standard cultural norms…including terms related to deviance, disability or diagnosis of a mental disorder… The theory is concerned with how the self-identity and behavior of individuals may be determined or influenced by the terms used to describe or classify them. It is associated with the concepts of of self-fulfilling prophecy and stereotyping…A stigma is defined as a powerfully negative label that changes a person’s self-concept and social identity”.
Such labeling and stereotyping leads to a stigmatization of the individual. Through my studies and experience as a counselor I have seen the negative impact that such stigmatization has upon the individual. In my experience, as noted; once a determination, diagnosis or label is given or assigned to the individual, the determination, diagnosis or label many times – consciously or unconsciously — becomes the identity of the individual. I have also noted that as the individual adopts the identity of the label as their identity they unknowingly become vulnerable to being victimized by the identify of the label by believing in the stigmatization. The internalization of the label and stigmatization then makes the individual susceptible to being controlled.
In the process, the individual — many times — unknowingly relinquishes their own unique creative identify for the identity of the determination, diagnosis or stereotype.
As a traumatic brain injury survivor, I found myself labeled and stereotyped by professionals and in social settings. The impact of these labels and subsequent opinions left me feeling stigmatized, minimized and marginalized. Unknowingly, I found myself relegated to a category of damaged goods. Like a damaged or tattered toy that was no longer of any use, I found myself tossed into a box with other toys and left to believe that I was no longer of any real value. But thank God that was not the end of the story. Through my process, I came to realize what stigmatization, minimization and marginalization led me to believe was an insidious lie.
“Regardless of your lot in life, you can build something beautiful on it.” Zig Ziglar
Please read Part 2 of this article as Part 2 builds upon Part 1. To read Part 2 of this article, please click on this link. Thank you. Traumatic Brain Injury, Labeling Theory and Societal Stigmatization Part 2
As you read this series and questions come to mind, please send those questions to me. All questions are good question. In the event that you would like to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you. You may sent a question or leave a comment by clicking on this link: Contact Page.
Receive more articles like this one simply by clicking on Subscribe to Second Chance to Live by email.
Bookmark and Share Second Chance to Live with your friend Subscribe in a Feed Reader
All material presented on Second Chance to Live is copyright and cannot be, copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Craig J. Phillips, MRC, BA Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND
This entry was posted on July 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm and is filed under Acquired Brain Injury, acquired brain injury and feeling alienated, Acquired Brain Injury and Suicide, Adult Children of Alcoholics, adult children of alcoholics and traumatic brain injuries, Adult Children of Alcoholics living with traumatic / acquired brain injuries, brain injured soldiers, Brain Injury Education, Caregivers for people with traumatic / acquired brain injuries, celebrities with brain injuries, combating brain injury isolation, Department of Veteran Affairs, Empowerment and Inspirational Speaker, Families impacted by brain injuries, fear of failure, Finding Freedom From Perfectionism, Finding practical hope as a tbi survivor, finding your bliss, Finding Your Significance, Fulfilling your Destiny, How to Make Peace with God, learning disabilities, Learning to Accept Yourself as a brain injury survivor, Learning to Love Yourself as a brain injury survior, life challenging experiences, living life on life's terms, living my destiny, living with a brain injury, Living with a Disability, Living with a disability and overcoming being bullied, Living with a Invisible Disability and feeling shame, living with a traumatic / acquired brain injury, Living with a traumatic brain injury and feeling shame, Living with an Invisible Disability, living with meaning and purpose, Meaning and Purpose, messages of hope, messages of hope and inspiration, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Military Personell impacted by Traumatic Brain Injuries, Motivaional Speaker, Motivational / Inspirational Speaker, No Longer a Victim, Overcome Being Bullied, Overcoming a Fear of Failure, Overcoming being Bullied, Overcoming Societal Stigmatization, Parents of children living with a brain injury, Parents of children with Acquired brain injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Suicide, Post Traumatic Syndrome and Suicide, Revealing your Destiny, Self-Respect, Self-Respect and Significance, Soldiers and Marines who sustained traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injury, spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection, stroke, Suicide and Hope, tbi adults, tbi children, tbi families, toxic shame, Traumatic / Acquired Brain Injury and Anger, Traumatic Brain Injury and being Bullied, Traumatic Brain Injury and Comfort, traumatic brain injury and frustration, Traumatic Brain Injury and Hope, Traumatic Brain Injury and Learning, Traumatic Brain Injury and Significance, Traumatic Brain Injury and Suicide, Traumatic Brain Injury and What is my Destiny?, Traumatic Brain Injury and You, traumatic brain injury feeling alienated isolated, traumatic brain Injury in adults, Traumatic Brain Injury in children, traumatic brain injury in schools, traumatic brain injury Iraq, Traumatic Brain Injury Motivational Speaker, Traumatic Brain Injury Research and Resources, Traumatic Brain Injury Self-Esteem and Self-Worth, Traumatic Brain Injury Support Groups / Meetings, traumatic brain injury treatment, Veterans Living with Brain Injuries, What is my Destiny?, Workshop Leader. Tagged: damaged goods, Dismissing and Discounting, Empowering your life, finding hope, Labeling Theory, Lot in Life, Marginalization, Minimization, Societal Stigmatization, Sociology, tattered toys, Wikipedia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.