Labelling Theory essay

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  • Evaluate the usefulness of the labelling theory in understanding crime and deviance
    • Intro: Labelling differs to structural theories and focuses on deviance as a social construction but can be criticised for not explaining the causes of crime.
    • Paragraph 1: Becker definition of deviance, deviant careers and master status.
    • Paragraph 2: +ve: different perspective regarding societal reactions.       -ve: Taylor, Walton and Young there are acts that are intrinsically deviant such premeditated killing.
    • Paragraph 3: Edwin Lemert primary and secondary deviance, deviancy amplification (Cohen).
    • Paragraph 4: can be seen in real life examples such as child *********** etc. -ve: disagree that primary deviance is not crucial since it kick starts the process. It is important to know why some people choose to deviate.
    • Paragraph 5: Jock Young - hippie marijuana users. -ve: small group in specific location and needs to repeated elsewhere to make general conclusion.
    • Paragraph 6: Selective law enforcement - Cicourel study. -ve: fails to explain how stereotype of 'typical delinquent' came around in the first place.


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