labelling theory on crime and deviance

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  • Created by: athinaP
  • Created on: 11-05-16 18:07
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  • crime and deviance: labelling theory interactionist approach
    • cicourel: the negotiation of justice
      • agents of social control eg police hold typifications about who is more likely to commit crime.
        • these are likely to be bias and target the more powerless groups e.g the young, poor and ethnic minorities.
          • this is likely to lead to a self serving bias
            • police more likely to patrol areas with higher concentrations of these people
              • therefore more likely to arrest people from these groups
                • leads to arrest rates reflecting their typifications about who commits these crimes
    • evaluation
      • disadvantages
        • theory criticised for focusing too much on the labelling of the deviant and not the victims. their suffering isn't socially constructed
        • realists argue interactionists too quickly dismiss official stats + ignore crime is a real  problem
        • Marxists say interactionists fail to see why  crime is socially constructed the way it is. ignore origins of crime relating to inequality and power
      • advantages
        • labelling theory has empirical support from education+ psychiatry where it's been shown applying a label of deviance leads to more deviance
    • Becker:
      • what's classed as crime or deviance is based on subjective decisions  by moral entrepreneurs


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