Labelling/ interactionist (action) theories of crime and deviance

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 02-11-15 18:17
As a key assumption of labelling/ interactionist theories, do they accept or reject offical crime statistics and why?
-Reject, -They see them as a social construction (underreporting),
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As a key assumption of Labelling/ Interactionist theories, what type of explanations do they reject and what do they instead look at?
They reject structural casual explanations (e.e. Functionalism). Instead they look at the way crime and deviance is socially constucted,
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As a key assumption of labelling/ interactionist theories, what type of approaches do they favour when investigating crime and deviance and examples?
-In-depth qualitative approaches, -E.g. informal interviews, observations, personal documents etc.
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What do labelling/ interactionist theories argue the nature of deviance is?
Socially constructed
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Who does what socioligist suggest the basis of what we count as crime and deviance is formed by and the definition?
-Becker, -He argues it is based on subjective decisions made by 'moral entrepeneurs' (people who aim to change laws in order to benefit people within society.)
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When does an act therefore become deviant and en example?
When people within a society label it as such so society's reactions to an act leads it to becoming deviant. E.g. driving on a mobile phone, taking what were previously named 'legal highs' which have now become illegal,
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However, what 2 outcomes does creating deviant acts cause?
1) A new group of outsiders will be created, 2) An agency of social control will be created or extended to impose labels on new offenders,
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For Becker, what evidence suggests crime is a social construction and created by society?
The fact crime and deviance varies over time and between cultures,
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What statement do ethnomethodoligists state about deviance and what does this suggest?
'deviance is in the eye of the beholder'-What one person might see as deviant another might not,
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What ethnomethodologist theories be illustrated wih and an example?
It can be illustrated with debates about 'conceptual art'/ SOme see the work of artists Noble as art deviant and even sick, whereas others celebrate it as original and inspiring,
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How can this be applied to society today with people who take cannabis?
Some people consider cannabis smokers as criminals whereas others may not,
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What do they argue about the extent of deviance?
It is socially constructed
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For selective labelling, what does Becker claim shapes the amount and districution of crime and deviance in society?
Selective law enforcement,
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Give an example of selective law enforcement shaping crime and deviance?
Being arrested, charged and convicted of a crime does not happen to everyone who commits a crime. Whether this happens will be based on a number of factors,
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Who does Becker suggest is more likely to be labelled by who?
He suggests that powerless group (including the young) are more likely to be labelled than powerful groups,
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Give 3 pieces of evidence to support the theory that blacks are more likely to be labelled?
-Blacks are x8 more likely to be stopped and searched by the polices, x7 more likely to be labelled schizophrenic and x3 more likely to be tasered by police than whites,
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What sociologist found what evidence to support Becker's selective labelling theory?
Cicourel- Because police officers have stereotyprs of who they think will commit crime, they will selectively enforce the law and patrol these types of neighbourhoods and thus leading to more arrests. Agencies in the justice system will support this,
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For consequences of labelling, what does Becker claim about the changes of deviance by labelling?
Becker claims that deviance can be amplified (increased) by the act of labelling itself i.e. by labelling people as criminal, society is encouraging them to be more criminal,
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What does Becker argue the labellled gain and what does this mean?
They gain a master status-this status/ label dominates and shapes how others see the individual so become stigmatised and outsiders,
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What does this label eventually lead to?
A self-fulfilling prophecy so begin to live up to their label,
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What does Becker suggest happens once the deviant label is accepted?
Deviants may join or form deviant subcultures where their activities can be justified and supported.
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Therefore, what happens to the extent of deviance?
Deviance can become more frequent and often expanded into new areas,
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Who supports Becker's ideas on the consequences of labelling?
Lemert
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What does Lemert argue about primary deviance to support Becker?
Primary deviance which has not been labelled has few consequences for the individual concerned e.g. fare dodging,
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What does Lemert argue happens to the deviance act when it is labelled by society?
It becomes secondary deviance and affects the individual. Societal reaction leads to stigmatisation, a master status, a self-fulfilling prophecy, further deviance and a career in deviance,
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How can the media affect crime and deviance?
It can amplify crime by demonising deviants, creating moral panics, resulting in increased social control,
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What does increased social control lead to?
It creates more deviance and so forth,
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Give an example of the mods and rockers in 1964 media coverage and who suggested this?
-Stanley Cohen, -Argues the exaggeration of distrubances led to growing public concern and calls for harsher punishment. The increased demonising of teenagers ('folk devils') and harsher punishments in turn led them to feeling marginalised,
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In social policy, whatr has the criminal justice system done which has led to more deviance?
They have re-labelled many offences, making them more serious with more serious sentences,
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What do Labelling theorists argue should be done to reduce crime and deviance and an example?
Governments should decriminalise certain crimes, therefore reducing the number of criminals e.g. soft drugs,
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What do Labelling theories argue the governments should avoid to reduce crime and why?
They should avoid disintegrative shaming (naming and shaming people such as public shaming in the USA) in favour of reintegrative shaming. Crime rates tend to be lower in societies where reintegrative shaming is used,
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What has what sociologist found about hospitalisation of the mentally ill to give empirical support to interactionist theories?
Goffman has shown how the hospitalisation of the mental ill leads to mortification, labelling, master status, self-fulfilling prophecies, institutionalisation, amplification and stigma,
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What has what sociologist found about hippes in Notting Hill to give empirical support to interactionist theories?
Young. -Once hippies in NottingHill hadbeen labelled for their primary deviance, occasioanl marijuna use, they saw themselves as outsiders, developed a deviant subculture e.g. more 'way out' styles and more drug taking.
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What did what sociologist find about juvenile deviance in the USA to give empirical support to interactionist theories?
-Triplett, -Found that zero-tolerance approaches to juvenile deviance in the USA resulted in an increase in offending, especially violent offences. This suggests negative labelling does push offenders towards a deviant career,
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However, what sociologist suggests what about labelling theory to question interactionist theories on empirical grounds?
-Fuller, -Found labelling theory is too deterministic e.g. negative labelling WILL lead to negative behavior. She found negative teacher labelling amongst yr 11 black grils led to their rejection of labels and used it as a motivator to achieve,
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Give an evaluation of how readily interactionists dismiss official crime statistics?
-They too readily dismiss offical statisitcs. In contrast, other theories accept official statisitics have problems and are subject to bias but argue they show the basic reailty of crime. By ignoring OCS, they may be missing important basic trends,
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For theoretical evaluation, what theory have criticised labelling theories due to their weaker view on power and social control and what do they say?
-Marxists, -Argue law creation and selective law enforcement protects the interests of the ruling class. E.g. Trade Union laws. Selective law enforcement against the powerless working class directs attention away from the ruling class,
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Why do Marxists also criticise interactionist thories for failing to consider what?
That thye fail to consider the wider structural origins and cause of (primary) crime and deviance. Marxists argue the causes of crime are economic inequality and capitialist values,
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What two theories criticise interactionists theoretically for too readly dismissing OCS and what?
-Left realists and Functionalists, -Too readily dismiss black, working class, young, male crime as a social construction and argue they are more likely to commit crime as there are more real wider external structural causes for it,
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What do left realists criticise Interactionists for about dismissing explanations about young, male working class, black crime?
Left realists suggest crime commited by these groups can be understood as a response to marginalisation, relative depravation and subcultures.
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Lastly, what do left realists criticise interactionists approaches about the victim?
They argue interactionist approaches side too much with the deviant and neglect the victim,
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What do Functionalists add as explanations as to why young, male, working class, black crime is more likely to be commited which interactionists reject?
That they can be understood as a wider response to anomie/blocked opportunities and subcultures,
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In conclusion, what does the interactionist approach recognise?
It recognises that crime and deviance is socially constructed and that social patterns of crime are not what they seem,
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In conclusion, what does the interactionist approach ignore?
They ignored wider structural and cultural causes of crime and deviance e.g. anomie/ blocked opportunities, marginalisation, inequality and subcultures,
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As a key assumption of Labelling/ Interactionist theories, what type of explanations do they reject and what do they instead look at?

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They reject structural casual explanations (e.e. Functionalism). Instead they look at the way crime and deviance is socially constucted,

Card 3

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As a key assumption of labelling/ interactionist theories, what type of approaches do they favour when investigating crime and deviance and examples?

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Card 4

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What do labelling/ interactionist theories argue the nature of deviance is?

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Who does what socioligist suggest the basis of what we count as crime and deviance is formed by and the definition?

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