Do you remember the book The Scarlet Letter? This novel, written in 1850 and set in a Puritan community in the 1600s, features Hester Prynne, a woman forced to wear a red letter A on her chest. She wears this letter because her fellow townspeople believe she has sinned and should be ashamed of her actions.
Although our society does not shame people by forcing them to wear large, colorful letters, it does sometimes take Puritan approaches when addressing problems. It negatively labels people in other ways. One of ways society labels people is by attaching stigmas to them.
A stigma is a symbol of shame. People assign stigmas to others, but the people who bear such stigmas often internalize them and feel the shame themselves.
People who carry such stigmas often have to bear the burden of their actions (or alleged actions) and the stigmas that others have attached to them.
Effects of …