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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter introduces readers to the relatively new area of research on structural stigma through addressing four issues. First, it defines structural stigma and describes how this construct differs from stigma at individual and interpersonal levels. Second, the chapter discusses various measurement and methodological approaches that have been employed to study structural stigma. Third, it evaluates emerging research on the consequences of structural stigma for the health of stigmatized groups. In particular, it discusses illustrative research from several stigmatized statuses and reviews numerous health outcomes associated with structural stigma. Fourth, the chapter describes several promising areas for future research on structural stigma and health. The chapter concludes by arguing that accumulating evidence indicates that structural stigma has robust health consequences for stigmatized groups across the life course and thus represents an underrecognized mechanism underlying health inequalities between members of stigmatized and nonstigmatized groups.

Keywords: life history theory, discrimination, stigma, prejudice, health, neighborhoods, race, ethnicity, obesity, violence

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