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    • Howard S Becker - American Sociologist
      • Becker argued that we stereotype people
      • we apply 'labels' to people such as chav, scrounger, geek etc.
      • this is when labels gain 'master status' - they become so important to an individual, they can end up shaping their entire life
      • Becker argued that the 'ideal' pupil had the following characters
        • did homework on time, neat, tidy, obedient, work hard and gain good grades
      • people attach meanings to the behaviours of those around them
        • Becker believed that teachers label pupils and then treat them differently according to this label
    • Rosenthall & Jacobson (1968)
      • told teachers certain pupils were 'intellectual bloomers' & teachers then taught those students differently - by the end of the year those students performed better
    • Self - Fulfilling Prophecy
      • labels often have negative connotations & a pupil will live up to the label and behave accordingly
      • labelling is often linked to social class where those from the working class are labelled as less likely to suceed
      • Mac An Ghaill (1994) - labelling and peer groups
        • studied working class students in a Midlands comprehensive school
        • 1) 'Macho lads' - academic failures, hostile to school, from less skilled working class backgrounds
        • 2) 'achademic achievers' - sucesses, more skilled working class backgrounds, tried hard at school
        • 3) 'new enterprisers' - positive attitude, vocational curriculum as a route to career sucess
    • Evaluation
      • Strengths
        • evidence e.g. Mac An Ghaill show how labels can be attached to individuals e.g. Archer et al 'I'm a Nike Person'
        • this process can clearly be seen in education, showing this can happen
        • Shows how powerful labels can be
      • Weaknesses
        • can question what caused the label in the first place, negative label may root from a behaviour
        • deterministic - assumes that a negative label will always end up in SFP
        • ignores the fact that labelling can have a bad effect & lead to bullying
        • the study by Rosenthall & Jacobson is unethical


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