*** Everyone Welcome! No need to book in advance ***
Date: Thursday 19th May
Room: Town Hall Committee Room 2
Dr Richard Barry (Middlesex University)
"Psychiatric Stigma and Dehumanisation"
Abstract: The denial of humanity to outgroups is a well-established phenomenon. It has been explored from a variety of perspectives and with a wide range of targets, including national, ethnic, and cultural outgroups, immigrants, the homeless and drug addicts, political opponents, and the ‘mentally ill’. The negative effects on those attributed lesser humanity include absolution of ingroup responsibility for harsh treatment of outgroup members, lower guilt for past misdeeds of the ingroup, reduced forgiveness , willingness to help, and empathy, as well as increased discrimination and avoidance of outgroup members. It’s not a good thing. This talk will provide an overview of the main approaches to conceptualising dehumanisation, addressing some key issues in operationalisation and analysis that make interpretation of current findings challenging. Recent studies examining dehumanisation of people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder will also be presented. These explore the question of whether there is a relationship between humanity denial, stigma, and the desire for social distance from people with a psychiatric diagnosis.