Managing Stigma—the Experiences of Parents of Children with Intellectual Disability
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University of Lodz
Submission date: 2020-11-15
Acceptance date: 2021-01-08
Publication date: 2021-09-20
Polish Sociological Review 2021;215(3):337–404
In this paper I analyze the phenomenon of parents’ managing the stigma of their child’s disability. Using Erving Goffman’s concept of stigma, I point to its usefulness in understanding the management of stigma by parents of children with intellectual disability. I also stress the usefulness of the category of stigma in the context of how the parents work on their identity. The results of research indicate that the parents of children with a disability live with a sense of stigma in regard to their children. Parents adopt various ways of managing this stigma in connection with whether their child’s disability is visible or not. Managing stigma may involve revealing or concealing a child’s disability. In the research, qualitative techniques were used, with special emphasis on an unstructured interview. Data analysis was performed in accordance with the procedures of grounded theory.