Ordinary people doing extraordinary things: Responses to stigmatization in comparative perspective

Michèle Lamont*, Nissim Mizrachi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This special issue offers a first systematic qualitative cross-national exploration of how diverse minority groups respond to stigmatization in a wide variety of contexts. This research is the culmination of a coordinated study of stigmatized groups in Brazil, Israel and the USA, as well as of connected research projects conducted in Canada, France, South Africa and Sweden. The issue sheds light on the range of destigmatization strategies ordinary people adopt in the course of their daily life. Articles analyse the cultural frames they mobilize to make sense of their experiences and to determine how to respond; how they negotiate and transform social and symbolic boundaries; and how responses are enabled and constrained by institutions, national ideologies, cultural repertoires and contexts. The similarities and differences across sites provide points of departure for further systematic research, which is particularly needed in light of the challenges for liberal democracy raised by multiculturalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-381
Number of pages17
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Racism
  • anti-racism
  • destigmatization
  • identity
  • national ideologies
  • stigma


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