Social stigma can result from the perception of mental illness, physical disabilities, diseases such as leprosy, illegitimacy, sexual orientation, gender identity, skin tone, education, nationality, ethnicity, ideology, religion or criminality. Attributes associated with social stigma often vary depending on the geopolitical and corresponding sociopolitical contexts employed by society, in different parts of the world.
According to Goffman there are three forms of social stigma:
Overt or external deformations, such as scars, physical manifestations of anorexia nervosa, leprosy, or of a physical disability or social disability, such as obesity.
Deviations in personal traits, including mental illness, drug addiction, alcoholism, and criminal background are stigmatized in this way.
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