The stigma associated with social housing is a pervasive problem which is present within our society.  Take an in-depth look at why and how it occurs, its impact and how to counter it with Hannah Absalom.


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    Explanations tend to focus on the media and on government policies that promote home ownership and shame benefit claimants. But these explanations only go so far. Stigma is far more of a wicked problem rooted in our social norms and values. It shapes our organisational processes. It defines and divides neighbourhoods and communities.

    At a personal level stigma distorts our understanding of complex problems and harms the self-esteem and life opportunities of people subjected to it.

    Stigma is further complicated by well-meaning interventions which unintentionally widen and expand it.

    This session will explore stigma as a ‘wicked problem’, summarising how it occurs and why it is so infectious. We will look at how stigma shapes organisational’ practices, and the effects it has on our thinking and actions.

    It will cover:

    • Understanding stigma as a wicked problem
    • Why social housing seems particularly mired in the problem of stigma
    • Stigma’s strange effects, why we struggle to see it and how it shapes our thinking and organisational practices
    • Tricky interventions – why approaches to reduce stigma tend to perpetuate it
    • A different way of thinking about stigma
    • Tools to help you be conscious of stigma.

    You will be supported in changing your thinking and in identifying quick wins to take back to  your workplace and personal lives. As stigma has a habit of coming back in new guises, reflective practices will be shared so you can stay mindful of stigma and work on reducing its corrosive effects.

  • Our speakers

    Hannah Absalom is a former social housing practitioner of 18 years, a PhD candidate and Research Associate for the Centre for Urban wellbeing at the University of Birmingham. Her research is award winning, having received Highly Commended for Social Innovation recognition in the William Sutton prize and an ESRC impact acceleration grant to bring her research recommendations to life. This stigma workshop is part of a suite of sessions that are under development to introduce genuine innovation into social housing through ‘Thinking Differently’.

  • Price and booking


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    * Please note that all prices are subject to standard VAT. Byte Size members do not qualify for member discounts. Please call 01904 557150 for more information.

    Bookings are closed for this event.

    If you experience any issues when submitting your booking, please email [email protected] with the name and date of the session along with the delegate name(s), email address(es) and job title(s) and we’ll process the booking for you.

  • Cancellations and substitutions

    If you are unable to attend an event or public training course, please let us know in writing (email is fine) at least 48 hours before. Please email [email protected] Otherwise, a cancellation fee of £60 plus VAT will be chargeable. If you are using a package place to attend and do not inform us within the agreed time frame, then a place will be taken to cover your non-attendance. Cancellations must be made in writing, and will be acknowledged by HQN Limited.