Professor Iyiola Solanke’s Inaugural Lecture: Discrimination as Stigma

This lecture draws upon ideas found in my recent monograph, Discrimination As Stigma: A Theory of Anti Discrimination Law (Hart, 2017).

This lecture draws upon ideas found in my recent monograph, Discrimination As Stigma: A Theory of Anti Discrimination Law (Hart, 2017), where I reconceptualise discrimination law as fundamentally concerned with stigma. Using sociological and socio-psychological theories of stigma, the paper presents an ‘antistigma principle’, promoting it as a method to determine the scope of legal protection from discrimination. The anti-stigma principle recognises the role of the environment as well as individual action in the perpetuation of discrimination. The principle highlights social responsibility for discrimination, making it everybody’s business.

A further possibility that arises from centralising stigma in anti-discrimination law is whether in so doing discrimination can be framed as a public health issue. Setting discrimination law within the field of public health, frames positive action and intersectional discrimination as the norm of legal action rather than the exception. Using the examples of weight and tattoos, I demonstrate that the anti-stigma principle can be used to determine what should be protected by anti-discrimination law, as well as what should not.

The event is free to attend but registration is required

This event will be followed by a drinks reception.