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Table of Contents

Introduction: Stigma, the Machinery of Inequality 1. The Penal Tattoo 2. From Stigma Power to Black Power 3. The Stigma Machine of the Border 4. The Stigma Machine of Austerity 5. Shame Lives on the Eyelids 6. Conclusion: Rage Against the Stigma Machines

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A radical new theory of the political function of stigma with which to better understand and resist the rise of authoritarian capitalism.

About the Author

Imogen Tyler is a Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science. A teacher, writer and social activist, she is a member of the Morecambe Bay Poverty Truth Commission and a trustee of the UK Poverty Truth Network. She has published widely on issues of social inequality and injustice, and her critically acclaimed book Revolting Subjects (2013) was shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing.


Historically, when people were physically branded and maimed, it was clear who was creating stigma and why. While such practices are rare today, Tyler (Lancaster Univ., UK) argues that powerful, hidden processes in developed modern societies still create stigma ... Chapters include an analysis of race and Black power in the US, the European refugee crisis, poverty within austerity Britain (based partly on her work with a local Poverty Truth Commission), and autobiographical insights from her working-class upbringing ... [The] analysis of oppression in other places can provide a more acceptable way to explore dynamics that also apply to the US. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. * CHOICE *
A profoundly original and innovating book. By giving voice to the dehumanised, Tyler's book powerfully bears witness to the suffering and tragedy unfolding in our age. Historically attentive and theoretically sophisticated... intellectually rich and elegantly written. * Satnam Virdee, University of Glasgow *
A devastating and brilliant book that reconceptualises stigma for the Twenty-First Century. Tyler skewers austerity and border regimes, laying out their human costs with clear-eyed, thoughtful analysis. Stigma is essential reading for these times. * Emma Jackson, Goldsmiths *
If you think you know what stigma is, think again. This book is essential reading for anyone hoping to understand the roots of stigma in our society and how it is leveraged to embed inequities. * Mary O'Hara *
Imogen Tyler's passionate book brings out the enduring power of stigma to mark inequality on the body in profound, searing ways. This will be a vital contribution to recognising the lived experience of inequality across history. * Mike Savage, London School of Economics *

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