A Critical Pragmatic Exposition of Stigmatization

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Fareed Hameed Al-Hindawi, Siham Mohammed Hasan Alkawwaz, Maha Al-Mohammed


Granted that language suffices the basic needs of social communication, it is known to be governed by certain factors (ethnicity, religion, gender, status) that in one way or another crystalize societal attitudes. Case in point, a stigma is a verbalized social attitude in the sense that it transmutes opinions into authoritative motives, ideals, and ideologies. With its negative reputation, a stigma unfairly smears its designated target creating a life-long scar of classificatory abuse. Moreover, as a socially empowering tool of alienation, stigmatization basically implies the disclosure of abnormality by marking with a permanent label, i.e., a stigma. The paper is a preliminary exposition of stigmatization from a linguistic vantage point, with focus on the usage of stigmas and their ideological quality. The investigation of stigmatization takes on a critical stance with a general reflection and examination of some dangerous power-driven stigmas that are ruling societal discourses.  For this purpose, the paper formulates and uses a special set of concepts, bearing on the very essence of pragmatics, to dissect the very nature of stigmatization. Findings sustain that as an indicant of deviance, stigmatized discourse disseminates prejudicial discrimination into societal conductance.


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