PSYUNIT3: Criminal- Labelling and Self-fulfilling prophecy (A01+2)

  • Created by: adaaeze
  • Created on: 31-03-16 16:00


  • The Labelling theory was founded by Beck (1963) who argued that when deviancy is labelled, the person takes on that label.
  • Self- fulfilling prophecy occurs when the deviant label (ie 'criminal') given to the individual becomes expected behaviour.
  • This happens when, for example, the individual believws they are only capable of this certain behaviur and less capable of pro-social behaviours.
  • The label will become internalised by the individual, in particular if more than one person agrees with the label and the expected behaviour is not far different to the individuals normal behaviour.
  • This makes the individual feel as if there is no opportunity to change and thus fulfils the prophecy of them being a criminal by acting the way the label suggests.
  • For example, A woman sees a young person with a hoody causing trouble…


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