Labelling theory

  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 13-06-14 15:23
What's the main assumption of deviance in labelling theory?
Deviance is a social construct. No act is deviant until it's been labelled
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What's differential enforcement?
Where social control agencies tend to label certain groups as criminal and so enforce the law harshly
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What did Becker say about deviance?
Social groups create deviance by creating rules and applying them to particular people they label outsiders
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Piliavin and Briar?
Police decisions to arrest were based on stereotypes of dress, gender, class, ethnicity, time and place
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Where did labelling theory derive from?
Interactionist perspective
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Cicourel - typifications?
Policce use typifications of the 'typical delinquent'. Individuals that fit these are more likely to be stopped, arrested and charged
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What do Marxists criticise labelling theory for?
Not saying where the stereotype came from in the unequal structure of capitalist society
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Why aren't crime statistics a valid picture of the truth?
Because police are more likely to patrol working-class areas as they fit their typifications more, meaning middle-class crime goes unnoticed. More of a record of control agents activities than criminals
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Cicourel - crime statistics?
We can't take crime statistics at face value, we should treat them as a topic and investigate how they've been constructed
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Lemert - labelling?
Labelling someone as a deviant makes them become a deviant
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Outline primary deviance.
Acts that haven't yet been labelled as deviant behaviour. The person committing them often doesn't know they're being deviant
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What's a criticism of primary deviance?
Doesn't explain why people commit primary deviance in the first place, before they're labelled
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Outline secondary deviance.
The societal reaction that comes from the deviance, e.g. the label
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What can happen to a person once they've been labelled?
Potentially stigmatising and excluding them from society. Others see them in terms of their status, making that their master status
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What causes a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Being labelled and treated as a deviant can lead to them acting like one and living up to their label
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What could a self-fulfilling prophecy cause?
The individual joining a deviant subculture, in which they get support and role models of others like them and pursue a career in deviance
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What's a criticism of a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Too deterministic, assume that once someone is labelled then a self-fulfilling prophecy is inevitable
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Outline Jock Young's Notting Hill study.
Observed marijuana users in Notting Hill. First drug use was primary deviance and peripheral to the hippies' lifestyle. Police labelled them as 'junkies' which led to a deviant subculture where drug use was central
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How are Jock Young's findings ironic?
The attempt to control and produce law-abiding behaviour, actually produced the opposite
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Outline the deviance amplification spiral.
The attempt to control deviance actually makes it worse. Thus resulting in more control and so more deviance
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Outline Cohen's folk devils and moral panics study.
Media exaggeration created a moral panic. Moral entrepreneurs called for a 'crackdown'. Police arrested youths, leading to more concern. This led to labelling the mods and rockers as folk devils which led to further deviance
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How do functionalists and labelling theorists link in terms of control?
Functionalist believe that deviance produces social control, and labelling theorists believe control produces further deviance
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What's differential enforcement?


Where social control agencies tend to label certain groups as criminal and so enforce the law harshly

Card 3


What did Becker say about deviance?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Piliavin and Briar?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Where did labelling theory derive from?


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