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Stigma Habitus: symbolic and structural violence in the reproduction of HIV-related stigma in Ireland

February 25 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Location: Room G065, School of Psychology, NUI Galway
Galway, Ireland

Speaker(s): Dr Elena Vaughan

Affiliation: Health Promotion Research Centre in NUI Galway

Organised by: Health Behaviour Change Research Group

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Dr Elena Vaughan is a post-doctoral researcher in the Health Promotion Research Centre in NUI Galway. Her PhD research investigated HIV-related stigma in Ireland. Specifically her work explored the relationship between media driven discourses of HIV and the embodied and enacted stigma experiences of people living with HIV in Ireland. Her research interests include health inequalities, HIV and sexual health, LGBT health, health-related stigmas and other social and structural determinants of health.

Increasingly, health scholarship is recognising that stigma is a significant social determinant of health, acting as a barrier to accessing screening and care, adherence to treatment and, engagement with services (Stangl et al., 2019). Though by no means a new phenomenon, scholarly interest in stigma as a driver of health inequalities has grown exponentially since Goffman’s (1963) seminal work ‘Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity.’

As Tyler (2018) has argued however, scholarship on stigma ‘…often side-lines questions about where stigma is produced, by whom and for what purposes’ (p. 721). Similarly, Parker and Aggleton (2003) have called for research that interrogates ‘the social, cultural, political and economic determinants and consequences of stigmatization’ (p. 20).

In response to such calls, Dr Elena Vaughan conducted research on HIV-related stigma in Ireland in order to explore the processes involved in the reproduction of stigma. Drawing on the findings from her work this seminar will explore health-related stigma through a Bourdieuian lens, offering a re-conceptualisation of the stigma process that acknowledges the constitutive roles of discourse, culture and power in determining health outcomes (Green & Labonte, 2008).