Labelling theories/theorists: Lemert, Cohen, Braithwaite, Cicourel, Becker + evaluation

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  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 10-02-14 14:39
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  • Labelling
    • Becker: deviance is in the eye of the beholder. No act is deviant in itself, it only becomes deviant when people label it as such
      • Not everyone who commits an offence is punished. Whether a person is arrested/charged depends on interactions with agencies of social control, appearance, background, situation of offence.
    • Piliavin and Briar: police decisions to arrest a youth were mainly based on physical cues e.g. manner/dress
    • CICOUREL: the negotiation of justice
      • Officer's typifications led them to concentrate on certain types. This involved a class bias - working class fitted the police typifications
        • police focused on these areas more intensely, resulting in more arrests and confirming their stereotypes. Justice is FIXED but NEGOTIABLE e.g. upper class parents reasoning, "it will never happen again"
    • LEMERT: Primary/secondary deviance
    • YOUNG: Notting Hill hippies - became a deviant subculture, self fulfilling prophecy, used drugs more. SOCIETAL REACTION HAS CAUSED DEVIANCE.
    • Deviancy amplification spiral - Cohen folk devils and moral panics e.g. Mods and Rockers
      • The media exagrerrate, moral panic is created, public demand tougher action, mods and rockers marginalized, more deviant behaviour
    • Braithwaite - disintegrative shaming: the crime and criminal is labeled, offender excluded from society Reintegrative - labels the act not the actor: easier for criminal to come back into society, "he did a bad thing" not "he's a bad person."
    • Evaluation: it's deterministic, fails to explain why people commit primary deviance in the first place, it implies that without labeling, deviance would not exist


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