Labelling Theory

  • Created by: 11pyoung
  • Created on: 12-01-18 18:30
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  • Labelling Theory
    • Understanding Deviance: Reaction not cause
      • Responding to and enforcing rules
        • John Kitsuse
          • No agreed definition on what society determines as deviant
      • Evaluation
        • Fails to explain the causes of primary deviance
          • Many people commit crimes knowing that they illegal beforehand
        • Lernert
          • Crime and deviance are so commonplace that  they do not need explaining
            • Fails to distinguish  between crimes of different severities and criminals who do different amounts of them
      • Derived from the theory of symbolic interactionism
        • Most people commit acts of crime and deviance
          • Only a few get caught and stigmatised for it
      • Howard Becker
        • 'Deviancy is not a quality of the act a person commits but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanction to an 'offender''
        • Just because someone breaks a rule, it does not follow that others will define it as deviant
          • Someone has to enforce the rules
            • If the person is successfully labelled, then consequences follow
        • Someone has to enforce the rules
          • If the person is successfully labelled, then consequences follow
    • The consequences of rule enforcement
      • Evaluation
        • Heavily criticised for appearing to suggest that labelling will inevitably lead to individuals becoming more deviant
          • Too determinsitic
      • Lernert
        • Primary deviance
          • Rule-breaking
        • Secondary deviance
          • The consequence of the response of others
    • Deviant careers and the creation of rules
      • Deviant career
        • All processes that are involved in a label being applied and then the person taking the self-image of the deviant
      • Creating rules
      • Evaluation
        • Becker
          • There are differences in power and that it is the duty of sociologists to side with the underdog
            • No overall theory of differences in power is given
    • Phenomological approaches to deviance
      • Evaluation
        • Taylor, Walton and Young
          • This approach does not argue where the meanings come from in the first place
      • Concentrates on the processes by which certain acts are defined as deviant and others are not
      • Aaron V.Cicourel
        • There is no clear-cut way of determining delinquents from non-delinquents
    • Labelling, values and policy Implications
      • Liazos
        • Labelling theories, by exploring marginalised deviant activities, are reinforcing the idea of pimp, prostitutes and mentally ill
      • Gouldner
        • Labelling theory fails to provide any real challenge to the status quo

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