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Society is faced with a variety of undesirable behaviours and conditions such as crime, mental and physical illnesses and disabilities, that usually provoke different responses in people such as emotions of anger, fear or pity. In our evolutionary past, these emotions adaptively motivated the repair of interpersonal relationships, whereas more recently they may also result in other types of social control such as stigmatization or tolerance. Dijker and Koomen show, on the basis of elementary psychological processes, how peoples' responses are not only dependent on type of deviance but also on personality, situation, historical period and culture. They also examine the implications of these responses for the well-being and coping of people with deviant conditions or stigmas. This book provides conceptual tools for developing interventions to reduce stigmatization and offers a deeper understanding of the psychological basis of social control as well as opportunities to influence its potentially harmful consequences.
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