Labelling Theory

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  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 03-04-15 10:22

Labelling theory emerged from the work of TANNENBAUM. Using ideas from symbolic interactionism he said that delinquents are not that different from non-delinquents the main difference is how they have been defined by the community.

LEMERT - He thought that the individuals who provided the social response to the behaviour should be the individuals being studied. It is the social response that leads the offender to make judgements about themselves and their behaviour. The response can lead the offender as seeing themselves as thereefore being a deviant and acting appropriately adopting it as their master status. The deviance that is produced in this context is what LEMERT calls secondary. Primary deviance however, is committed by everyone, but is unlabelled which is the difference to secondary deviance.

BECKER - BECKER saw deviance as something that was created by others rules and sanctions. These rules tend to come from a group of people who also want other behaviours controlled, they are known as moral entrepreneurs. BECKER argues that there are three steps…


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