A.C. 2.2 + 3.2 - Describing and Evaluating Sociological Theory (UNIT 2) (4)

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  • A.C. 2.2 Describe Sociological Theories.
    • A.C. 3.2 Evaluate Sociological Theories.
      • Advantage
        • Shows that the Law is not a fixed set of rules to be taken for granted, but something whose construction we need to explain.
        • It shows that the law is often enforced in discriminatory ways. Crime statistics are more a record of the activities of control agents than of criminals.
        • highlights the role of the media in defining and creating deviance and for producing moral panics and fold devils
      • Disadvantage
        • It tends to be deterministic, implying that once someone is labeled, a deviant career is inevitable
        • It emphasizes the negative effects of labeling gives the offender a kind of victim status.
        • It fails to explain why people commit primary deviance in the first place before they are labeled.
        • fails to explain why deviant behaviour happens in first place. there is no consequence that some people may choose to be deviant
        • ignores the victim of crime and focuses on the 'criminal' there is a potential to romanticise or sympathise crime.
    • Labelling Theory. Interactionism
      • refers to how people in society interact with each other.
      • Becker uses labelling to justify criminality, labelling is the identification of someone based upon someone's though and belief.
      • Self-Fulfilling prophecy: being told something and acting, adapting, to what others see you as. e.g. criminal
      • Moral Panic: fear caused amongst society in relation to an event.
        • Stanley Cohen's study of the mods and rockers, in which two rival 'gangs' were labelled as troublemakers in the 1970s.
      • Folk devil: a group labelled bad, which causes havoc, amongst society. e.g. terrorists
      • Deviancy Amplification: increasing ones criminal behaviour.
      • 'The Outsider' study - there is no act which is deviant itself. an act only becomes deviant when others apply the label to it.
        • A deviant is someone who the label is applied to, the deviant behaviour is the labelling of that specific individual.
          • different ways of explaining crime, helps us understand deviant or stigmatised behaviour.
      • deviance is determined by the location and the society and their own actions.
      • Primary Deviance: violation of norms, that doesn't result in any long-term consequences, and it doesn't hurt self image.
      • Secondary Deviance: a person's self-concept changes due to the label society gives to that individual.
      • Master Status: a chief characteristic of an individual e.g. terrorist, *********.


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