Stigma leads to poorer health. Edited by Brenda Major, John F. Dovidio, and Bruce G. Link, The Oxford Handbook of Stigma, Discrimination, and Health provides compelling evidence from various disciplines in support of this thesis and explains how and why health disparities exist and persist.
Stigmatization involves distinguishing people by a socially conferred "mark," seeing them as deviant, and devaluing and socially excluding them. The core insight of this book is that the social processes of stigma reliably translate into the biology of disease and death. Contributors elucidate this insight by showing exactly how stigma negatively affects health and creates health disparities through multiple mechanisms operating at different levels of influence.
Understanding the causes and consequences of health disparities requires a multi-level analysis that considers structural forces, psychological processes, and biological mechanisms. This volume's unique multidisciplinary approach brings together social and health psychologists, sociologists, public health scholars, and medical ethicists to comprehensively assess stigma's impact on health. It goes beyond the common practice of studying one stigmatized group at a time to examine the stigma-health link across multiple stigmatized groups. This broad, multidisciplinary framework not only illuminates the significant effects stigma has when aggregated across the health of many groups but also increases understanding of which stigma processes are general across groups and which are particular to specific groups.
Here, a compendium of leading international experts point readers toward potential policy responses and possibilities for intervention as well as to the large gaps in understanding that remain. This book is the definitive source of scholarship on stigma and physical health for established and emerging scholars, practitioners, and students in psychology, sociology, public health, medicine, law, political science, geography, and the allied disciplines.