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Labelling theory

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Labelling theory

  1. 1. Labelling Theory
  2. 2. Lesson Objectives • Introduce the Labelling theory to Crime and Deviance • Be able to apply Labelling theory to examples of Crime and Deviance • Evaluate Labelling Theory
  3. 3. Last Lesson Recap • Examine the role of access to opportunity structures in causing crime and deviance (12 marks) • 6 AO1 • 6 AO2
  4. 4. How to answer • Outline Merton’s Strain to anomie theory- esp. idea that deviance results from unequal access to legitimate opportunities (education and career). • Identify different forms of deviance e.g. innovation ao2 • Examine Sub cultural theories using Cohen to evaluate Merton • Link Cohen’s idea of status frustration to blocked opportunities and explain how subculture provide an illegitimate opportunity structure • Use Cloward and Ohlin to show that access to illegitimate ao2 opportunity structures is unequal and how this gives rise to 3 different subcultures. • Include evaluation e.g. functionalist assumptions of Cohen and ao2 Merton (do all deviants start out sharing mainstream goals?) or their failure to explain other types of crime e.g. corporate
  5. 5. Think…………. • The concept of labelling has been used not only in explaining crime and deviance, but also in other areas of Sociology. • How do you think it would relate to Crime and Deviance? • Who is likely to be labelled and why? • What effect can a label have on how people who are labelled are treated and how they behave?
  6. 6. Label ling as a form of Social Control: anics’… ‘Folk D evils & Moral P Stan C ohen (1972/80): s vs. Rockers’ ehind the ‘Mod d in the truth b the media the Cohe n was intereste late 196 0s. According to problem me dia hype in the s’ and ‘Rocker s’ was a national violence b etween the ‘Mod ociety. d the decay of s that represente different Coh en reached very ed to what co nclusions compar eporting……. the media was r
  7. 7. his research Cohen found the following in edia stories)….. (which con tradicted the m ally minimal. at the media r eported was actu > The ‘Violence’ th de during f young pe ople at the seasi > The majority o re not Mods or Rockers. ‘riots’ we these so called of events & o have painted a skewed picture > The media seemed t between these t wo groups. the clashes sensationalised and why this In order to underst suggests we occurred (occurs), Cohen concepts of need to understand the Devils & Moral Socia l Control, Folk Panics .
  8. 8. nic? What is a Moral Pa k of MORAL al concern over an issue—usually the wor ocess of arousing soci a FOLK DEVIL. The pr is inevitably in volves the creation of ENTREPENUERS. Th eneurs? Who are these Moral Entrepr e power to create is a person, group or organisation with th A Moral Entrepreneur views & attitudes on to others e.g. se their morals, or enforce rules & impo > Politicians > Teachers > Parents > Religious Leaders evil? What is a Folk D / social groups who ormed generalisatio ns of particular people Over simplified, ill-inf demonise e.g Moral Entrepreneurs wish to > Mods & Rockers > Hoodies > Lone-parent Families > Immigrants > Young Muslims > Paedophiles c………. > Football Hooligans et
  9. 9. ting the extent eating Folk Devils – as well as exaggera labelling groups and cr epreneurs are able By society through th e Media, Moral Entr of these ‘problems’ in in society: to genera te Moral Panics with
  10. 10. Social Construction of Crime Instead of taking the definition of crime for granted, labelling theorists are interested in how and why certain acts come to be defined or labelled as criminal in the first place. For labelling theorists, no act is deviant in itself: deviance is a social construct
  11. 11. • Howard Becker (1963) social groups create deviance by creating rules and applying them to particular people whom they label as ‘outsiders’ • Therefore an act or person only becomes deviant when labelled by others as deviant
  12. 12. • Labelling theorists are interested in the role of what Becker calls moral entrepreneurs. These are people who lead a moral ‘crusade’ to change the law in the belief that it will benefit those to whom it is applied. • The new law however has two effects: 1. Creation of a new group of ‘outsiders’- outlaws or deviants who break the new rule 2. The creation or expansion of a social control agency (police) to enforce the rule and impose labels on offenders
  13. 13. • It is not the harmfulness of a behaviour that leads to new laws being created, but rather the efforts of powerful individuals and groups to redefine that behaviour as unacceptable.
  14. 14. Differential Enforcement • Labelling theorists argue that social control agencies (police, courts etc) tend to label certain groups as criminal • Piliavin and Briar found police decisions to arrest were based on stereotypical ideas about manner, dress, gender, class, ethnicity, time and place • These stereotypical ideas lead to judgements about a youths character
  15. 15. Effects of Labelling • Labelling Theorists claim that by labelling certain people as criminal or deviant society encourages them to become more so. • Primary Deviance- deviant acts that have not been publicly labelled. They may have many causes, are often trivial and mostly go uncaught e.g. fare dodging. Those who commit them do not usually see themselves as deviant • Secondary Deviance- results from societal reaction i.e. from labelling. Labelling someone as an offender can involve stigmatising and excluding them from normal society. Others may see the offender solely in terms of the label, which becomes the individuals master status or controlling identity
  16. 16. Self Fulfilling Prophecy • Being labelled may provoke a crisis for the individuals self concept and lead to sfp in which they live up to the label, resulting in secondary deviance • Further societal reaction may reinforce the individuals outsider status and lead them to joining a deviant sub culture that offer support, role models and a deviant career Can you give an example?
  17. 17. Activity: Drugtakers and the police: an amplification spiral
  18. 18. • Lemert and Young illustrates the idea that it is not the act itself, but the hostile societal reaction by the social audience, that created serious deviance. • Ironically therefore, the social control processes that are meant to produce law- abiding behaviour may in fact produce the very opposite. Although a deviant career is a common outcome of labelling, labelling theorists are quick to point out that it is not inevitable
  19. 19. Deviance Amplification • Deviance Amplification- the attempt to control deviance leads to it increasing rather than decreasing, resulting in grater attempts to control it and in turn more deviance e.g. Hippies • How is this related to the trouble in Clacton in 1964? (page 83) • Deviance Amplification is similar to secondary deviance. In both cases the societal reaction to an initial deviant act leads not to successful control of the deviance but to further deviance which in turns leads to greater reaction etc
  20. 20. piral’ eviance Amplification S Jock Y oung (1967/9) ‘D more crime! Moral Panics actually generate Labels, Folk Devils & Notting Hill….. E.g. Drug Takers in types and as such are susceptible to m edia stories & stereo not done: Police in Notting Hill hat they have or have vils’ regardless of w target these typical ‘folk de r minor offences > Police arrest drug marijuana smokers fo eir Folk Devil ‘The nlise these stories and thus have th > The media sensatio c about ‘Drug Takers ’. n to generate a Moral Pani Drug Taker’ and begi ies, the police crack > In re sponse to these stor these folk devils. down even harder on ises police suspicion g Takers’ ‘underground’ – this ra > This pushes the ‘Dru en more harshly drugs up – th e police crack down ev & pushes the price of ). (More Media Coverage turn to new types of art resist ing arresting arrest, > The ‘Drug Taker’s’ st er (MORE DEVIANCE ) ga nise themselves bett drugs and have to or
  21. 21. at more Moral Panics about Knife Crime means th the streets people are fearful of being attacked in It carry ing knives themselves. and therefore start stabbed or is a fact that you are more likely to be ument/ stab someone else if you get into an arg ing a knife sc uffle if you are carry to Deviance yourself……………… ……Moral Panics lead Amplification. about The more people read re drug rela ted problems the mo r like ly they are to see fo ss is them selves what all the fu about.
  22. 22. Labelling and Criminal Justice Policy • Research findings indicate that labelling theory has important policy implications. They add weight to the argument that negative labelling pushes offenders towards a deviant career. • What implications does this have for making laws? • To reduce deviance, we should make and enforce fewer rules for people to break
  23. 23. Reintegrative Shaming • Most labelling theorists see labelling as having negative effects. However John Braithwaite identifies a more positive role. He distinguishes between two types of shaming (negative labelling): • Disintegrative shaming- where the crime and criminal are labelled as bad, and the offender is excluded from society. • Reintegrative shaming- labels the act but not the actor ‘he has done a bad thing’ not ‘he is a bad person’ (avoids stigmatisation). Person is made aware of the negative impact of their actions and encourages others to forgive them ands accept them back into society
  24. 24. Differences between Labelling and Functionalism • Functionalists see deviance producing social control • Labelling Theorists see control producing further deviance
  25. 25. • Summarise the labelling theory
  26. 26. Evaluation Shows that the law is not a fixed set of rules to be taken for granted, but something whose construction we need to explain Shows that crime statistics are more a record of activities of control agents not that of criminals
  27. 27.  Focuses on the underachievers or people who are regarded as lower in society  Doesn’t look at the motives for why people commit crime  Capitalism is not mentioned in the theory (Marxist Criticism)- role of power  Tends to be deterministic (once someone is labelled a deviant career is inevitable)  The emphasis on the negative effects of labelling gives the offender a kind of victim status, thus ignoring the real victims of crime
  28. 28. Fails to explain why people commit primary deviance firstly, before they are labelled  It implies that without labelling, deviance would not exist. Leading to the conclusion that someone who commits a crime but is not labelled has not deviated. It also implies that deviants are unaware that they are deviant until labelled, yet most are well aware that they are going against social norms  By assuming that offenders are passive victims of labelling it ignore the fact that individuals may also actively choose deviance
  29. 29. ***Jack Young (1971) Initially drugs were peripheral to the hippies lifestyle (primary deviance) The police see The police The Deviant norms action against and values hippies as lazy, marijuana develop. They dirty drug marijuana users users grew their hair makes them addicts. feel different, retreat into long, and drug small use becomes (Labelling) and from this more of a they unite groups. central activity together (sfp) (societal reaction)

Hinweis der Redaktion

  • PowerPoint outlining the key details of Cohen's work on Folk Devils & Moral Panics, and Young's work on Deviance Amnplification. Do let me know if you would like anymore from other topics (Families, Edcuation, Methods, Beliefs, T&M, C&D)Thanks
  • Cicourel (1976) A Phenomenological Approach Cicourel studied American youth crime and saw that people from white backgrounds are sometimes sent for psychiatric treatment whereas some other groups get sent to prison for the same offence. Cicourel saw that police use stereotypes when stopping delinquents, police are more likely to stop delinquents in bad, low-income areas where there is a high crime rate. Lower class juveniles who fitted the criteria of the police stereotypes were more likely to be charged than middle class juveniles. Cicourel ’s conclusion - Delinquents are produced by agencies of social control.
  • Secondary Deviance- the person is caught and labelled as an offender. In the eyes of the world , he is no longer a colleague, father or neighbour; he is now a thief, junkie or paedophile- an outsider
  • An ex convict finds it hard to go straight because no one will employ him so he seeks out other outsiders for support. Thus may involve joining a deviant subculture that offers deviant career opportunities and role models, rewards deviant behaviour and confirms his deviant identity.
  • We cannot predict whether someone who has been labelled will follow a deviant career, because they are always free to choose not to deviate further
  • The Mods and Rockers were two conflicting British youth subcultures of the early-mid 1960s. Gangs of mods and rockers fighting in 1964 sparked a moral panic about British youths, and the two groups were seen as folk devils. The rockers were motorcyclists, wearing clothes such as black leather jackets. The mods were scooter riders, wearing suits and cleancut outfits. By the late 1960s, the two subcultures had faded from public view and media attention turned to two new emerging youth subcultures — the hippies and the skinheads. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/18/newsid_2511000/2511245.stm
  • e.g. by decriminalising soft drugs, we might reduce the number of people with criminal convictions and hence the risk of secondary deviance. Similarly labelling theory implies that we should avoid publicly ‘naming and shaming’ offenders, since this is likely to create a perception of them as evil outsiders and, by excluding them from mainstream society, push them into further deviance
  • Reintegrative makes person aware of the negative impact of their actions upon them and then encourages others to forgive them and accept them back into society. Avoids pushing them back into secondary deviance Crime rates tend to be lower in societies where Reintegrative rather than disintegrative shaming is the dominant way of dealing with the offender
  • Marxist criticism- fails to explain the origin of labels or why they are applied to certain groups e.g. WC