Topic 2 - Labelling Theory

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  • Created by: 09eatonb
  • Created on: 28-12-15 15:37

The Social Construct Of Deviance - 

  • Deviance is a social construct
  • BECKER (1963) -
    • social groups create deviance by creating rules and applying them to particular people who they label as 'outsiders' 
    • Thus, an act or a person only becomes deviant when labelled by others as deviant
  • Social control agencies (police, courts etc.) tend to label certain groups as criminal
    • found that police decisions to arrest were based on stereotypical ides about manner, dress, gender, ethnicity, class, time and place
  • CICOUREL (1976) - 
    • police use typification (stereotypes) of the 'typical delinquent'.
    • individuals fitting the stereotype are more likely to be stopped, arrested and charged.
      • Working-class and ethnice minority juveniles = more likely to be arrested - once arrested, those from broken homes etc are more likely to be charged
      • Middle-class juveniles = less likely to fit the stereotype and have parents who can negotiate on their behalf - less likely to be charged
  • Working-class people fit police typifications so police patrol working class areas, resulting in more working class-arrests.
    • thus, statistics recorded by the police do not give a valid picture of crime patterns
    • CICOUREL - argues we cannot take crime statistics at face value or use…


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