Stigma 'Under the Skin'

William McGovern, Michelle Addison*, Ruth McGovern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Stigma is powerful: it can do untold harm to a person and place with longstanding effects (Ahern, 2006, Baumberg Geiger, 2016, Chang, 2016, Hatzenbuehler, 2013, Pemberton, 2016, Room, 2005, Scambler, 2018). Stigma can regulate and reproduce what, and who, is and is not valued in any given time or space, and it can be weaponised to justify vast, pernicious and entrenched inequalities (McKenzie, 2012, Devine, 2005). In this chapter, we introduce our edited collection which unpicks why it is that stigmatisation happens to people who use drugs (PWUD). Having power to name, shame and blame through stigma produces advantages for individuals and organisations who wish to retain and protect their accrued privileges and capital (economic, social, cultural) as symbolic and legitimate. We discuss how stigma operates as a powerful way to ‘police’ and regulate often the most marginalised and vulnerable in society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDrugs Identity and Stigma
Editorsmichelle addison , william Mcgovern, ruth Mcgovern
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9783030982867
ISBN (Print)9783030982850, 9783030982881
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2022

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