2. Stigmatisation by Naming as the Manipulation of ‘Persuasive Definition’
The second give-away of a subconscious ‘parent-child’ model of authority is a way of labelling that has attached to it a strongly negative emotive content. We could call this ‘stigmatisation by naming’, a phrase coined by one of my wise friends with social work experience.
Arguably, if I labelled somebody a Swansea ‘Jack’, somebody from Swansea could take it as a compliment. If I labelled somebody as a ‘criminal’, however, then I could create a very negative emotional reaction in others about somebody who, as it happened, had only got caught stealing a Mars bar. I would be using the negative emotional connotation of the word ‘criminal’ as a way of taking revenge by causing others to reject somebody.
This is a subtle form of slander, which adds a negative value-judgement to mere false testimony. It is also a potentially disguised slander in that only a single word has been used. That is, by using a certain name or term, it is easy to stigmatise somebody without looking like you are doing so.Continue reading “A subtle form of slander”