Interactionist views of crime and deviance

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Maria
  • Created on: 14-06-10 14:11

Interactionism –

· Crimes are not committed by people due to forces beyond their control; they are committed due to the individual’s beliefs about the world

· Symbols surrounding crime and societal reactions contribute to the choice of committing a crime

· It is vitally important to study the social context in which crimes take place, as crime and deviance are concepts relative to each society

· In terms of crime and deviance, interactionists are mostly concerned with the effects of labelling on the act of committing a crime

· Becker (1963):

o Actions are not intrinsically deviant, but rather they become deviant through the application of a label

o Labels are given to people depending on context: A group of boys having a fight in a middle class area may be seen as ‘youthful high spirits’, however in a working class area this behaviour is regarded as deviant

o Once a label has been applied to an individual, it may be granted master status. This is where all other aspects of the individual’s life are no longer regarded as important as the label of deviant, and deviancy becomes a central activity. A deviant career usually follows

· Young (1971):

o Young conducted a study into marijuana users in London within a Hippy subculture

o Police regarded the hippy subculture as dirty, lazy and drug




thanks, really helpful!

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Crime and deviance resources »