Social Stigma and COVID-19: The Experiences of Bangladeshi Returnees from Italy
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has escalated social discrimination against migrants around the world. However, research on the forms of social stigma faced by the returned migrants in their home countries is absent. Based on in-depth interviews with Bangladeshi migrants who returned from Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic, this article explores their experiences of discrimination and social harassment in Bangladesh. Drawing on Link’s and Phelan’s (2001) conceptual framework of social stigma, this study finds that returned migrants experienced different forms of social harassment and stigmatization, including labeling, stereotyping, social separation, status loss, and discrimination.
KEYWORDS: returned migrants, social stigma, COVID-19, Bangladesh, Italy