Marked and Unmarked

Within most social situations, especially ones that occur in large and alienated communities, there usually form ingroups and outgroups. We see this occur throughout our society, from small group interactions to national political issues. Social scientists, such as Erving Goffman, consider members of ingroups to usually be unmarked while members of outgroups are usually marked. Unmarked individuals tend to enjoy a variety of privileges, such as being considered “normal” and thus left alone to go about their business undisturbed. Marked people, on the other hand, serve as social scapegoats, are subjected to double standards, and are often unfairly blamed for a variety of problems that are beyond their control.

Write a 650-word paper discussing an issue in any aspect of our society, which involves a group of people being marked and treated unfairly because of this (feel free to use a personal experience.)

Include the following:

  • Describe how the group has been marked, and specifically what trait is being stigmatized (examples: skin color, sexuality, religion…)
  • What are some of the stereotypes involved in this case?
  • Do you notice any double standards being applied?

Format your assignment according to appropriate course-level APA guidelines.

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