This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Labelling Theories' Contribution To The Sociological Understanding Of Crime And Deviance

1575 words - 6 pages

Labelling Theories' Contribution to the Sociological Understanding of Crime and Deviance

Becker is the main sociologist studying labelling theory on deviance,
he argues that 'social groups create deviance by making the rules
whose infraction constitutes deviance.' Meaning acts only become
deviant when observers perceive it and define it as deviant. An
example of this would be the act of nudity, it is accepted in the
bedroom between husband and wife or on a nudist camp, but when a
stranger was to enter the bedroom, or someone was to streak across a
sporting event, others would usually see this as deviant, and this
deviancy would become a label on the individual.

Several factors affect what the audience would perceive as deviant,
such things as, who commits the act; when and where it is committed;
who observes the act; and negotiations between those in the act.

It is often those who respond to the acts who label the act deviant
rather than the behaviour of the individual. To stress this, Becker
uses the example of a brawl between youngsters, in a working-class
area police would see the act as sign of delinquency whereas if it was
to occur in a wealthy neighbourhood it would just be classed as
youthful high spirits.

Because Becker concentrates on the interaction between the potential
deviant and the agents of social control (observers) he is following
the interactionist perspective.

Due to the fact that individuals usually find their self-concepts
through the responses of others, it is likely according to Becker,
that after the individual has been labelled as deviant, they progress
down the path of a 'deviant career' and it becomes hard for the
deviant to shake off the deviant label as others see it as a master
status for the individual. Which in turn could turn into a
self-fulfilling prophecy because of being identified with the label
and it becomes controlling.

Once these steps have occurred, what Becker describes as 'the deviant
career' is completed when the individual joins an organised deviant
group and thus accepting their identity of being deviant.

However, this is not by any means inevitable and some of those who
started out as convicts or drug addicts can become 'straight' and get
jobs or quit their habits.

When Becker identified that he took a 'sequential' approach he means
how he explains deviance and at any stage in the sequence of his
explanation it is possible that the deviant will re-enter conventional
society.

Lemmert also uses the interactionist perspective in his view of
labelling, outlining primary and secondary deviance, primary being the
act before it is publicly labelled and secondary being the response of
the individual or 'deviant' to the reactions of others in society. But
he sees the agents of social control to blame for deviance...

Find Another Essay On Labelling Theories' Contribution to the Sociological Understanding of Crime and Deviance

Marx and Durkheim’s Views Contributed to our Understanding of Crime and Deviance?

981 words - 4 pages Introduction to the Sociology and Psychology of Crime Section A (Sociology of Crime) How have Marx and Durkheim’s Views Contributed to our Understanding of Crime and Deviance? Karl Marx’s Marxist theory and Emile Durkheim’s functionalist theory were both significant in their own ways and therefore made a large contribution to our perception and understanding of how crime and deviance occurs and is dealt with in society. The Marxist theory on

Sociology:Outline and assess Structuralist theories of crime and deviance

589 words - 2 pages All Structuralist theories of crime and deviance seem to suggest that crime is socially constructed rather than focused on the individual.Albert Cohen, combining Structuralist and sub cultural theories drew on Merton's idea of strain but criticized Merton's ideas of crime being an individual response and believed that he ignored non-utilitarian crimes such as vandalism and joy-riding. Cohen was particularly interested in deviance which was not

Critically evaluate biological and sociological theories and discuss how these contribute to the explanation for the occurrence of crime

4534 words - 18 pages MSc In Security & Risk ManagementMarch 2010 IntakeCritically evaluate biological and sociological theories and discuss how these contribute to the explanation for the occurrence of crime.4150 wordsAre criminals born or are criminals made? This is a question that many criminologists have researched into and tried and come to a conclusive answer. However the majority are divided into two main schools of thought; those believing in the nurture

Write a sociological essay with regards to Crime and Deviance with a Functionalist perspective then critique it with a Marxist view

1156 words - 5 pages . Marxism blames the system, Interactionists blame the labelling of the individual, but they also agree that in an unequal capitalist society some groups are marginalised and therefore turn to crime. The answer to this is not revolution but a change in social policy such as improved housing and leisure facilities etc. to remove the causes of crime.Consensus theorists dispute the issue of power completely saying that the issues of law creation and law

Deviance and the Sociological Analysis of The Godfather Part I

2415 words - 10 pages Fejzoski 1 Sabrije Fejzoski Mrs. Rath Sociology 15 October 2013 Deviance and the Sociological Analysis of The Godfather Part I In Mario Puzo's The Godfather Part I, the Corleone family demonstrates deviance when one compares it to the society that contains no organized crime influence. Deviance is also shown through different members of the family as well as other characters introduced throughout the course of the movie. By watching the

Money is the Root of All Evil- Monetary Issues Leads to Crime and Deviance

1003 words - 4 pages to each of their members, was $24,000.” These people seem to be satisfied with their income. Then you come to those that make less than this or those people who make much more. The individuals who make less always want more, as a result, in some cases their behavior leads to crime. If these people had more they could buy something a little nicer than they already have. Now those who have more money than the average person always seem to want

Sociological Viewpoint of Deviance

2968 words - 12 pages being no such as deviant act. They place firm emphasis on reaction. They put forward useful concepts such as labelling, self-fulfilling prophecy, and mortification and primary/secondary deviance. They are critical of the functionalist and subculture theories of deviance. Interactionists argue that human action is creative. We create our roles in relation to and adaptation to others. Normality is negotiated. Edwin

Sociological Theories and the Family

1784 words - 7 pages This paper will examine sociological theories and how they relate to the social institution of the family. We typically view society as a group of people, but in sociology, society is not a group of people but a social organization. People are molded by society to fit within the accepted societal bounds. Society must be understood using “the meanings that people put on their values and beliefs” (Bartle, 2010). Within sociology there are three

The criminal justice system has been important in defining, explaining and controlling behaviors understood as deviant. Discuss two sociological responses to concepts of criminal deviance

645 words - 3 pages and cultural phenomena are stressed in both sociological responses, considering social systems, structures and processes for the plight of criminal deviance. The underlying limitation of all sociological theories is that they ignore the role of personal choice to engage in deviant acts though despite the criticisms and limitations of the sociology of deviance, the theories still remain as a useful tool to analyze the functions of the criminal justice system.van Krieken R. et al., Sociology: Themes and Perspectives, 2000

Crime and Deviance

1491 words - 6 pages This paper explains the different sociological perspectives of deviance and in the essay I had compare each perspective to the movies that we watched in class dealing with crime.The movies that were mentioned in this essay were-"Menace II Society""News from a Personal War" documentary"The Secret History of Street Gangs" documentary"Good Fellas"and "City of God".There were also some references on the book "1984" by George Orwell.There are many

Discuss the value of understanding sociological approaches to the family in enhancing effective partnerships with families and children’

1852 words - 7 pages This essay aims to give an overview perspective of three sociological approaches to the family; Functionalist, Marxist and Feminist, how each approach sees society and how each approach perceives the family. Secondly, each perspective will be evaluated and critically analysed. Finally, the values of the theories highlighted in this essay, will be discussed in relation to how, as an early years practitioner I can use this knowledge to improve

Similar Essays

Outline And Assess The Importance Of Victim Surveys For Sociological Understanding Of Crime And Deviance

604 words - 2 pages abuse, sexual harassment and disputes between neighbours.Victim surveys are of continual importance to sociological research as the help to uncover the 'dark figure,' that is the vast number of unreported andunrecorded crimes. Such surveys give an understanding of the nature and extent of crime in the contemporary UK.

Sociological Theories Of Deviance Essay

929 words - 4 pages . Three main sociological theories of deviance include the cultural transmission theory (also known as the differential association theory), the labeling theory, and the control theory. If we take a look certain agents of socialization, for example, a school system, it becomes very easy to pinpoint and understand the facets of the cultural transmission theory. This theory considers deviance to be a behavior that is learned through interactions with

Assess Marxist Theories Of Crime And Deviance

626 words - 3 pages , as they make healthy workers to earn them profit. Neo-marxism or critical criminology is a newer philosophy, having arisen from marxist theories and social action theories. A Fully Social Theory of Deviance was a book written by criminologists Taylor, Walton and Young that combines traditional marxism with Neo-marxism. Karl Marx claims that crime is inevitable in capitalists society, as capitalism is a criminogenic system. In a capitalist

Cultural Criminology: A New Perspective To Understanding Crime And Deviance

2602 words - 10 pages Cultural criminology is a relatively new perspective and approach to understanding crime and deviance. Cultural criminology first began to develop in the 1990s and rapidly progressed in to a new field of criminology that is both influential and informative. The core concept of cultural criminology is built upon by using traditional approaches from different disciplines such as sociological studies, cultural studies, symbolic interactionism and