Interactionalist theory of crime and deviance

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  • Created by: gbuni17
  • Created on: 11-09-16 15:59
What are interactionists theories of crime and deviance most commonly referred to as?
Labelling theory
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What do interactionists regard official crime statistics as, and why?
Social constructions, because it shows only an unrepresentative group of offenders who have been labelled by the stereotypes from the police
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What does the labelling theory seek to explain?
Why some people and some acts are defined as deviant, whilst others carrying out similar acts are not
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According to Becker, when does an act become deviant?
When the act is perceived and defined as such
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What does the label of a deviant depend on?
Societal reaction (how others interpret the act)
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What is a moral entrepreneurs?
It's a person, group or organisation with the power to create or enforce rules and impose their definitions of deviance
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The police cannot prosecute all crime. What happens because of this?
Criminal labels are not attached to every crime
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What did Becker suggest about the police force?
He suggested that the police operate with pre-existing concepts and stereotypical categories of criminal "types" and "areas"
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What sort of approach did Cicourel use, and what did he try to understand?
He used a phenomenological approach to understand how law-enforcers interpret what they see
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What did his study of juvenile delinquency in two US cities show?
That juvenile crime rates were much higher in working-class areas than middle-class areas, even though the areas engaged in the same behaviour. Police stereotypes and labels affect crime statistics
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What did Lemert distinguish between?
Primary deviance and secondary deviance
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What is primary deviance?
Deviance that hasn't been publicly labelled as so because the individual hasn't been caught
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What is secondary deviance?
Deviance that follows once a person has already been publicly labelled as deviant
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What can the deviant label become?
A master status
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Define the term "master status"
It's a status that displaces all other features of a person's social standing, and the person is judged by this one characteristic
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How can a master status lead to secondary deviance?
Because others respond to the deviant label, and the individual can feel alienated which can lead to a deviant career
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What is a deviant career?
A career for individuals that are labelled as deviant, and have conventional opportunities blocked to them, so they turn to more criminal and deviant acts
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What did Becker suggest about societal reaction?
H suggested that societal reaction and the application of the deviant label can produce more deviance than prevent
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Which two sociologists supported Becker's theory about labels producing more crimes than it prevents?
Cohen (study of media), and Young (marijuana-user study)
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What did Plummer argue?
That the labelling theory has been heavily influential in contemporary sociology
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Outline three strengths of the labelling theory
Reveals the importance of stereotyping. Shows how labelling can lead to deviant careers. Shows how crime statistics are bias
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Outline three weaknesses of the labelling theory
Tends to remove the blame from the deviant.. Too deterministic. Why does deviant behaviour occur in the first place?
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Card 2

Front

What do interactionists regard official crime statistics as, and why?

Back

Social constructions, because it shows only an unrepresentative group of offenders who have been labelled by the stereotypes from the police

Card 3

Front

What does the labelling theory seek to explain?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

According to Becker, when does an act become deviant?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What does the label of a deviant depend on?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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