Goffman introduced a classification scheme of three stigma-related categories of people: the own, the wise, and normals. This study presents the first known empirical test of this taxonomy using latent class analysis. Participants (N = 144) completed a survey. Latent class analysis was used to analyze the data. The results showed that a four-class model best fit the data. The profiles of the stigmatizer and stigmatized were very similar to Goffman's descriptions of the normal and the own; the wise (labeled supporters) were split into two categories based on their encouragement of educating stigmatizers and challenging stigmatization. The stigma groups considered by participants and participants' social networks were significant covariates of class membership. Understanding how many audience segments exist and which indicators differentiate them could provide critical information for anti-stigma campaigns, such as those that attempt to reduce stigmatization by influencing stigmatizers to become supporters.
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