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Labelling theories of crime and deviance

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1 Labelling theories of crime and deviance

2 Objectives Identify and define why labelling theorist regard crime as socially constructed. Identify and define the labelling process and its consequences for those who are labelled. Apply and evaluate the strengths and limitations of the labelling theory in explaining crime and deviance.

3 What might different people say about this tattoo?
Think of 3 different people and suggest how each might react to this type of body art. For more information, click below

4 Labelling theory Instead of seeking the causes of crime and providing solutions to the problem of crime they ask how and why some actions come to be labelled as criminal or deviant

5 The concept of labelling has been used not only in explaining crime and deviance, but also in other areas of sociology. Suggest ways in which this concept might apply elsewhere, using examples from education, health, age and ethnicity. 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 Are these labels fair? “Alcoholic”: Someone who drinks more than 2 glasses of wine a day. “Stupid”: Someone who achieves less than 5 GCSE’s. “Troublemaker”: Someone who committed a crime 10 years ago but has been good ever since. “Superstar”: Someone who is an excellent player but plays a division below what they could be playing? “ Slag”: Someone who fell pregnant with the first person they had slept with as a teenager.

7 Social construction of crime
No act is inherently criminal or deviant in itself, in all situations and at all times. It only comes to be so when others label it as such It is not the nature of the act that makes it deviant but the nature of societies reaction to that act

8 Labelling and the social construction of crime.
Social groups create deviance by creating rules whose infraction [breaking] constitute deviance, and by applying those rules to particular people and labelling them as outsiders (Becker, 1963)

9 What is Becker trying to say through this statement ?
A deviant is simply someone to whom the label has been applied successfully

10 Social construction of crime
How and why do rules & laws get made? Moral entrepreneurs; Lead a moral ‘crusade’ to change the law Aim to help the people the law is applied to Creates deviants to the law Expands the social control agencies EG Platt (1969)

11 Social construction of crime ?
Labelling theorist focus on how and why rules and laws get made Becker believes that deviant only deemed as such because label has been successfully attached Social Construction of Crime Becker 2 effects: Outsiders, Creation of social control agencies Platt (1969) Moral entrepreneurs

12 What would be their labels ?
ature=related ature=related

13 Have a think .... Discuss the labels the individuals depicted in the two videos would have been given and decide how they might be labelled by: By yourselves (A2 sociology student), Society in general, Agencies of social control (police, etc)

14 Who gets labelled ? Not everyone who commits an offence is punished, it is dependent on three factors: Interactions with agencies of social control, Appearance, backgrounds and personal biography, Situation and circumstances of the offences,

15 Cicourel (1968) – negotiation of justice...
Officers decision to arrest are based on various factors: Stereotypes about offenders (based on class, area of residence, family background) This lead police to arrest youths from stereotypical backgrounds as they believe that juvenile delinquency is a result of broken homes, lax parenting and poverty.

16 Cicourel (1968) He also believed that justice is not fixed but negotiable in the sense that sanctions, punishment and consequences will change depending on the perpetrators’ background, ethnic background, age, etc... He also discusses the use of statistics and their validity, he argues that statistics fail to give a real picture of patterns of crime, He argues that statistic in fact should be a topic of research for sociologist with regards to the process that create them (how are they processed and how are individuals labelled).

17 Task Spend 5 minutes creating a spider diagram which sums up the social construction of crime. This will be a good revision aid. I will need a volunteer to come up to the board and share their diagram.

18 Labelling theory – Key terminology

19 Suggest two ways in which a person might to resist a label
WDYT Suggest two ways in which a person might to resist a label

20 5 – 5 – 1 Summarise today’s topic in 5 sentences. Reduce to 5 words.
Now to 1 word. (with as many variations as there are numbers!) Back to Plenaries

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