evaluation o labelling theory (around crime and deviance)

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  • evaluation of labelling theory (around crime and deviance)
    • pros
      • shows that the laws isn't fixed set of rules
      • it shows that the law is often enforced in discriminatory ways
      • it shows crime statistics are more a record of the activities of control agents than of criminals
      • it shows that society's attempts to control deviance can often backfire and create more rather than less
      • it was the first theory to recognise the role of power in creating deviance
    • criticisms
      • it is deterministic implying that once someone is labelled a deviant career is inevitable
      • emphasis on the negative effects of lebelling gives the offender a kind of victim status
        • realists sociologist argue that this ignores the real victims of crime
      • assuming that offenders are passive victims of labelling it ignores the fact that individuals may actively choose deviance
      • fails to explain why people commit primary deviance
      • implies that with out labelling deviance wouldn't exist.
      • it leads to the strange conclusion that someone who commits a crime but is not labelled has not deviated . it also implies that deviants are unaware that they are deviant until labelled. yet most are aware that they are going against social norms.
      • although it recognises the role of power but fails to analyse the source of this power

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