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Stigmatized work and stigmatized workers

  • Kreiner, G
  • Mihelcic, C
  • Mikolon, S
Publication Date
Sep 03, 2021
Spiral - Imperial College Digital Repository


Stigmas pervade organizational life. A stigma is a discrediting social evaluation that devalues an individual or group. We review research on stigmatized work and stigmatized workers, with a particular emphasis on how people become stigmatized and what they (and others) do about it. To do so, we connect stigma to other concepts in its nomological net and compare multiple models of stigma dynamics. We consider the intertwining nature of stigma and identity/image, how context affects stigma, and how stigma is managed by both the stigmatized and the nonstigmatized. We also offer critiques of key blind spots in workplace stigma research and point toward future research in this area that is more interconnected with other literatures and more inclusive of overlooked populations. Our vantage point is that workplace stigma continues to be an exciting domain of research with a high potential for theoretical discoveries and practical applications.

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