Stigmatised identity and service usage in disadvantaged communities: residents', community workers' and service providers' perspectives

Stevenson, C ORCID: 0000-0002-2438-6425, McNamara, N ORCID: 0000-0003-3123-3678 and Muldoon, O, 2014. Stigmatised identity and service usage in disadvantaged communities: residents', community workers' and service providers' perspectives. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 24 (6), pp. 453-466. ISSN 1099-1298

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Abstract

The impact of community stigmatisation upon service usage has been largely overlooked from a social identity perspective. Specifically the psychological mechanisms by which stigmatisation hinders service use remain unspecified. The present study examines how service providers, community workers, and residents recount their experience s of the stigmatisation of local community identity and how these shape residents’ uptake of welfare, education and community support services. 20 individual and group interviews with 10 residents, 16 community workers, and 6 statutory service providers in economically disadvantaged communities in Limerick, Ireland w ere thematically analysed. Analysis indicates that statutory service providers endorsed negative stereotypes of disadvantaged areas as separate and anti-social. The awareness of this perceived division and the experience of ‘stigma consciousness’ is reported by residents and community workers to undermine trust, leading to under-utilisation of community and government services. We argue that stigmatisation acts as a ‘social curse’ (Kellezi & Reicher, 2012) turning a potentially cooperative intragroup relationship into a fraught intergroup one by undermining shared identity between service users and providers. We suggest that tackling stigma is an important step towards creating positive service interactions for both service users and providers that are based on a sense of shared identity, trust and co-operation.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Stigmatised identity and public service usage in disadvantaged communities: residents’, community workers’ and service providers’ perspectives [working title]
Publication Title: Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
Creators: Stevenson, C., McNamara, N. and Muldoon, O.
Publisher: Wiley
Place of Publication: Chichester
Date: 15 January 2014
Volume: 24
Number: 6
ISSN: 1099-1298
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1002/casp.2184DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 28 Oct 2015 10:34
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:56
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/26020

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