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Labelling Theories Frank Tannenbaum

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1 Labelling Theories Frank Tannenbaum
“The community cannot deal with people whom it cannot define.... The young delinquent becomes bad because he is defined as bad and because he is not believed if he is good.” - Frank Tannenbaum

2 Questions If labels are so powerful why don’t parents label their children as gifted, intelligent…? Is labeling theory simply an academic excuse?

3 Labeling Theories 1) labeling theory assumes that social control leads to deviance Social response in the form of social control can lead to delinquent behavior i. Labeling a child as a delinquent has negative connotations in itself (it has second and third order effects) ii. The label of a delinquent may result in the child becoming a delinquent 2) Frank Tannenbaum a. Strongly rejected the notion of a dualistic fallacy in delinquency, or the belief that delinquents and non-delinquents are two completely separate entities

4 i. Argued that delinquents are well adjusted members of society
ii. Delinquent activity begins as random play or adventure iii. Societies response to such behavior may result in a label that carries substantial weight in determining the future behavior of a child iv. The child may respond by living up to this label v. Labeling a child as a delinquent isolates them from the rest of the community and may drive them to associate with similarly labeled individuals

5 Edwin Lemert Labeling Theory
Primary Deviation: Deviance that everyone engages in occasionally; it is rationalized, or otherwise dealt with as part of a socially acceptable role, e.g. I am “slow” today. Secondary Deviation: When a person begins to employ his deviant behavior or a role based upon it as a means of defense, attack, or adjustment to the overt and covert problems created by societal reaction to him. e.g. bully, delinquent

6 Sequence of interaction that leads to secondary deviance
primary deviation Social penalties Further primary deviation Stronger penalties & rejections Further deviations Crisis reached in the tolerance quotient Deviant behavior becomes more pronounced in a reaction to stigmatization by society The juvenile accepts their deviant social status

7 Self-fulfilling Prophecy
According to Lemert, a youth from a lower socio-economic status (SES) is more likely to accept this new role i. Parents who are powerless and poor are more likely to respond to delinquency by turning over the child to community agents such as the juvenile court system ii. Once labeled by the court system as a delinquent, the juvenile will likely have a negative self image of themselves

8 Edwin Schur Labelling Theory - Stereotyping

9 Edwin Schur Labelling Theory - Stereotyping
Emphasized the idea of radical nonintervention, or the notion that since the labelling process involves nothing more than outrageous stereotypes, society should try to “leave kids alone whenever possible” i. all children can effectively be ‘mislabelled’ as delinquents ii. Schur argues that most delinquency is insignificant and copasetic and should not be punished by society iii. If a youth seriously violates the norms of society, they should be rehabilitated through programs that won’t stigmatize them, rather than being committed to a correctional facility

10 Chapter 2: Issues in Sp Ed Chapter 3: Sp Ed Statistics
Group Work: (Rotate Tasks) Six groups of 5 Leader/Chair-Task, Lead discussion Recorder –chart work (large enough) Reporter – present and explain Timer – be sure to complete content Materials and Post on the Board

11 Group Work – Key points and Hi-lites Effects on classroom teachers’ roles
Arguments for or against integration (p. 20) Arguments for or against labelling (p. 23) Gap between assessment and program (p. 25) Categories/Definitions of Sp Ed students (pp ) No. of Sp Ed students (ID or Not) (pp ) No. of students receiving services – compare two tables (pp.34-35)

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