Labelling Theory - the effects of labelling

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  • Labelling Theory - The effects of labelling.
    • Lemert
      • Primary Deviance
        • Many acts that go uncaught.
        • Those who commit them do not usually see themselves as deviant.
      • Secondary Deviance
        • Others see the offender in terms of the label, which becomes the individuals 'master status'
        • Results for societal reaction i.e. labelling someone as an offender can involve stigmatising and excluding them from normal society.
    • Self-fulfilling prophecy (SFP)
      • Being labelled as a crimianl may provoke a crisis for the individuals self concept which could lead to a SFP  where they live up to the label resulting in secondary deviance.
      • Absorb the label once labelled, deviance is amplified.
        • YOUNG - Hippy marijuana users
      • Implications - Mass Media.
        • Further societal reaction may reinforce the individual's outsider status and lead them to join a deviant subculture that offers support, role models and a deviant career.
    • Deviance Amplification Spiral
      • The attempt to control deviance leads it to increasing rather than decreasing.
      • Cohen - Folk Devils and Moral panics - study the mods and rockers.
        • Media exaggeration and distortion began a moral panic.
        • Moral entreprenuers called for a crackdown - police responded by arresting morte youths causing more concern.
        • Demonising the mods and rockers as 'folk devils' marginalised them further, resulting in more deviance.
    • Downes + Rock
      • Cannot predict whether someone who has been labelled will follow a deviant career, because they are always free not to deviate further.
    • Functionalists believe deviance leads to social control where as lemert believes social control leads to deviance.


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