Concealing to Belong, Revealing to be Known: Classification Expectations and Self-threats Among Persons with Concealable Stigmas
Stigma, Social identity, Self-threats, Belonging, Coherence
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Whereas a large body of research examines the interpersonal stressors associated with revealing a stigmatized identity to others, comparatively little work documents the intrapsychic stressors associated with concealing a stigmatized identity from others. In two studies of persons with concealable stigmas (nerds in Study 1, gay men and lesbians in Study 2), we found support for a model in which behaviors that reveal a stigmatized identity to others lead to expectations of accurate classification as stigmatized, and behaviors that conceal a stigmatized identity lead to expectations of misclassification as nonstigmatized. In turn, expectations of accurate classification threaten stigmatized people's need for belonging (positive social connections), and expectations of misclassification threaten their need for coherence (feedback that confirms their stable self-views).
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Self and Identity, v. 11, issue 1, p. 114-135
Scholar Commons Citation
Bosson, Jennifer K.; Weaver, Jonathan R.; and Prewitt-Freilino, Jennifer L., "Concealing to Belong, Revealing to be Known: Classification Expectations and Self-threats Among Persons with Concealable Stigmas" (2012). Psychology Faculty Publications. 1166.