Misrecognition, Social Stigma, and COVID‐19

Developing World Bioethics 22 (4):211-216 (2022)
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As social and interdependent beings, we have responsibilities to each other. One of them is to recognize each other appropriately. When we fail to meet this responsibility, we often stigmatize. In this paper, I argue that the COVID-19-related stigmatization is a variation of the lack of recognition understood as an orientation to our evaluative features. Various stereotypical behaviors regarding COVID-19 become stigmatized practices because of labeling, stereotyping, separation, status loss and discrimination, and power. When people stigmatize COVID-19 victims, they orient themselves to their evaluative quality of being vulnerable to the SARS-CoV-2 virus by internalizing the victims as dangerous, understanding them as separable, and being motivated to act with them differently. All this causes the COVID-19 victims to lose status and suffer discrimination for which they do not experience participatory parity in different facets of their lives, rendering the COVID-19-related stigmatization an appalling example of misrecognition.

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Kazi A S M Nurul Huda
University of Dhaka

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