Stigma and discrimination

Stigma and discrimination

Stereotyping can lead to stigma. Stereotypes are when we judge people from a specific group or culture, as if they are all the same. For example, it is a stereotype to say: ‘all Germans are hardworking', or ‘all Spanish men are good at soccer'.

Stereotyping can be negative and could lead to xenophobia. Xenophobia is the hatred of strangers or foreigners.

Stigma means a mark or sign of social rejection, of not being accepted by others. This happens when people have a wrong idea about something. They have made up their minds. Their ideas are not based on facts, but on misinformation and myths.

So, for example, some people may attach stigma to people with HIV or TB. This is because they fear infection. They don't know that TB is not contagious once you start medication and that TB can be cured. They also don't know that HIV can only be passed on through bodily fluids such as semen and vaginal secretions, and blood.

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iDevice icon Group Activity
Look at examples. Each group will have to look at one of the pictures and discuss the following:
  1. What they think is happening in the picture in relation to TB stigma
  2. Does this happen in their communities/school/family
  3. Relate some examples.
  4. Each group will present their findings
  5. Each learner will write a personal reflection of what they have learnt.