Date of Award

2000

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Scott L. Feld

Abstract

An extensive body of literature on stigma exists in both sociology and psychology. However, the literature has virtually ignored how an individual's pattern of interactions might be affected as a result of being stigmatized. This dissertation develops theory concerning the nature of stigma management strategies and their consequences for social networks. Specifically, the theory predicts that stigmatized individuals tend to have relatively smaller and sparser personal networks, participate less in foci of activity, and draw fewer pairs of associates from the same focus than do nonstigmatized individuals. The data analyzed in this dissertation are especially useful for examining social networks and stigmatization. The sample consists of almost the entire population of students at a small Midwestern college. The data set includes information about the students' sentiments toward each other, the amount of time they estimated spending with each other, and the types of activities in which each individual participated. I conducted my analyses with all students together and then separately for men and for women. This provides a relatively independent replication of the findings. The results for men and women together support all major predictions concerning social networks and stigmatization.

ISBN

9780599905757

Pages

92

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