Stigma sucks: Addressing stigma to overcome poverty

I’m part of the ‘Exploring Stigma and Poverty’ design team, a group that’s been created to look at the issue of stigma and the impact it has on poverty. Our discussions and exploration have been deep as well as wide-ranging. When we met in January 2023 we looked at the impact stigma has on society as a whole, but also on us as individuals. We called this latter part, ‘making visible the invisible’ as we feel that there is little focus on how damaging stigma is on the individuals that experience it.

We drew on our collective experience of stigma. This took some of us back to our childhoods. It’s been a very reflective experience and really made me think about how many times I’ve been beaten down by stigma in my life. Reflecting can be difficult and challenging; it definitely triggers emotions that as humans we file away. At first I felt emotionally drained after our sessions, but, as these went on, I realised how important the work is and I also realised how important my personal lived experience is to the research we are doing. So, I’ve committed myself to be open fully to talking about my pain and suffering in the hopes that this might ease this for others.

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Sociological insights to help understand people’s lives and their challenges

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