Women who remain in relationships with registered sexual offenders: Analysis of forum discussion
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AbstractAbstract: Registered sexual offenders (RSOs) are inevitably on the receiving end of much negative evaluation within society. By association, individuals in close relationships with RSOs may experience what Goffman (1963) [Stigma: Notes on the management of spoiled identity. Simon & Schuster Ltd.] termed ‘courtesy stigma’, through which they are also negatively evaluated. The present study explores this phenomenon in the contemporary context of online discussion. Drawing on recent methodological developments in the microanalysis of online data, three specific threads from online parenting forums are examined, each opening with a specific account of their dilemma by women in intimate relationships with RSOs. Analysis of the sequential interaction within each thread demonstrates the way that stigma is performed by online parenting communities and how individuals manage that stigma as the interaction unfolds. We conclude that partners of RSOs, unlike family members, can mitigate courtesy stigma by ending the relationship, but otherwise risk being ostracised by community members.
CitationJournal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
DescriptionFrom Wiley via Jisc Publications Router
History: received 2020-09-25, rev-recd 2021-06-08, accepted 2021-06-09, pub-electronic 2021-07-08
Article version: VoR
Publication status: Published