HOW IS NORMAL FROM THE EYES OF THE STAMPED?
Postgraduate student/research Ferhat Rojhat Uçar was the guest to present the study “Substance Addiction from Goffman’s Perspective” in the fourth series of the series of seminars we started as the Social Cohesion and Entrepreneurship Association. In the seminar, which was moderated by a member of our association İslim Nur Product, topics such as “substance use, the place of substance users in the social stigmatization process, the way substance users are presented to normal individuals, and the perspective of the so-called normal human group towards substance users” were discussed with the theories of Sociologist Erving Goffman. Uçar, who presented her master’s thesis, stated that she met with many drug addicts for this thesis:
“I live in Gaziantep and the neighborhood I live in is a neighborhood where substance users live, especially in terms of substance addiction. I wondered to what extent they were excluded by the social mechanism as they lived in the same place as them, and to what extent they protected themselves against this exclusion, that is, this stigma. I was more or less guessing the way normal people view them, but I didn’t know their perspective on normal people and themselves. And I wanted to investigate. For this reason, I conducted semi-structured interviews with many substance addicts. And after the talks, I realized that; when they accept this stigma, they feel excluded from society. Goffman also treats this situation as an acknowledgment of the stigma.”
The element that started the research process with his words; He said that what is stigmatized is to be curious about the point of view of what is normal. Uçar shared the findings of his research with the participants in the following minutes; He underlined that among these findings, substance addicts are involved in this process due to reasons such as their friend circle and their desire to overcome individual and social problems. Uçar shared the findings she obtained from her interviews with the participants as direct quotations and emphasized that it is an important finding that drug addicts enter a process of isolation as soon as they accept the social stigma. Finally, he stated that since substance addiction is called “non-normal” by the social mechanism, substance addicts hide their substance use, especially in the first stages, and they make a great effort to do so. He evaluated this situation from the perspective of Goffman and evaluated it as the fear of stigma. The program flow ended with the question-answer part. We would like to thank Ferhat Rojhat Uçar for his instructive work, İslim Nur Product for his moderation, and all our participants who followed the seminar with interest. With the hope of signing important researches…