How do interactionists explain crime? (Labelling Theory)

Mind Map by rahima_khan, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by rahima_khan almost 5 years ago


Mind Map on How do interactionists explain crime? (Labelling Theory), created by rahima_khan on 03/31/2015.

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How do interactionists explain crime? (Labelling Theory)
1 Mistakes most theories make is that they assume law-breakers are somehow different from law-abiding people.
2 Most people commit deviant and criminal acts but only some are caught and stigmatised for it
3 Howard Becker
3.1 Just because someone breaks a rule it does not necessarily follow that others will define it as deviant.
3.1.1 Someone has to enforce the rules, or at least, draw attention to them – these people usually have a vested interest in the issue. If the person is successfully labelled then consequences follow. Once publicly labelled as deviant, an offender is left facing a limited number of options.
3.2 He illustrated a point "Injecting heroin into your arm is not deviant, because it is fine if a nurse does it under doctors orders. It only becomes deviant when society defines it as such"
3.2.1 Applicable to other facets of social life- warriors allowed to kill during times of war but not times of peace
4 Responding to and Enforcing the Rules
4.1 Most Sociologists argue that once a deviant or criminal act has been committed then the response will be uniform
4.1.1 Not the case as people respond differently to deviance or rule breaking. For example in 1960's gay men more likely to be stigmatised than now.
4.2 British Crime Survey Statistics
4.2.1 Show young black males more likely to be stopped and searched than any other group. Results of police officers belief they they are more likely to offend than any other social group- therefore become subjects of routine suspicion.
5 Symbolic interactionism/ labelling theory
5.1 Actions are by nature criminal or deviant- depends on the norms and values of society
5.1.1 The reaction of members of society in different context and situations
6 Interactionists believe there is no deviance only acts which are labelled as deviant
7 Reiner (1994)
7.1 Ethnic minorities or working-class youths living in specific areas are targeted more by police
8 Cicourel (1976)
8.1 Studied police and juvenile officers in California- found police more likely to arrest people who fitted the picture ie- poor school performance- low income background- ethnic minorities.
8.2 In contrast
8.2.1 Middle-class delinquents who were arrested tended to be counselled, cautioned and released by police officer.
8.3 Labelling theory shows how authority figures have ability to create social characteristics of typical delinquents as being young, working class males.
8.4 Contrast significantly with functionalist/ subcultural notions of crime & deviance.
9 Primary and secondary deviance
9.1 Lemert
9.1.1 Moved interactionism forward by arguing there's a difference between primary and secondary deviance Primary deviance - acts which have not been publicly defined as deviant Secondary Deviance - Publicly defined as deviant Shows how deviance is a two stage proccess First identified then agents of social control get involved
10 Societal Reaction
10.1 Jock Young
10.1.1 Simply being labelled as deviant creates self fulfilling prophecy - labelled individual acts according to label given to them. Example: 1960's hippies used dope as part of lifestyle- once labelled as dope users they began to use dope as THE symbol of their difference rather than A symbol.
10.2 Stan Cohen
10.2.1 Media amplified- exaggerated the extent of disturbances Called this exaggeration 'deviancy amplification spiral' which perpetuated further disturbances into moral panic.
11 Evaluation
11.1 Pros
11.1.1 Identifies significance of labelling in the judicial process
11.1.2 Shows how groups are labelled and identified accordingly
11.1.3 Shows how once certain characteristics are identified with a particular social group these subsequent atributes are identified and then acted upon by agents of social control
11.2 Cons
11.2.1 Fails to account why certain groups are labelled and not others
11.2.2 Ignores who makes the rules/ laws
11.2.3 Marxists looked for these answers
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