Labelling Theory (INTERACTIONISM)

A M
Mind Map by A M, updated more than 1 year ago
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A-Level Sociology (Crime & Deviance) Mind Map on Labelling Theory (INTERACTIONISM), created by A M on 04/05/2016.

Resource summary

Labelling Theory (INTERACTIONISM)
1 Deviance is simply a social construct.
2 BECKER - social groups create deviance by creating rules & applying them to particular people whom they label as 'outsiders'.
3 An act or person only becomes deviant when labelled by others as deviant.
4 DIFFERENTIAL ENFORCEMENT
4.1 Labelling theorists argue that social control agencies (police, courts etc) tend to label certain groups as criminal.
4.2 PILIAVIN & BRIAR found police decisions to arrest were based on stereotypical ideas about manner, dress, gender, class, ethnicity, time & place.
5 TYPIFICATIONS
5.1 CICOUREL argues that police use typifications of the 'typical delinquent'. Individuals fiiting the typification are more likely to be stopped, arrested & charged.
5.1.1 Working-class & ethnic minority juveniles are more likely to be arrested. Once arrested, those from broken homes etc are more likely to be charged.
5.1.2 Middle-class juveniles are less likely to fit the typification, & have parents who can negotiate successfully on their behalf. They are less likely to be charged.
6 CRIME STATISTICS: A TOPIC NOT A RESOURCE
6.1 Working-class people fit police typifications, so police patrol working-class areas, resulting in more working-class arrests.
6.1.1 Thus crime statistics recorded by the police do not give a valid picture of crime patterns.
6.2 CICOUREL argues that we cannot take crime statistics at face value or use them as a resource. We should treat them as a topic & investigate the processes by which they are constructed.
7 THE EFFECTS OF LABELLING
7.1 Labelling theorists are interesting in the effects of labelling.
7.1.1 LEMERT argues that by labelling certain people as deviant, society actually encourages them to become more so societal reaction causes 'secondary deviance'.
7.2 PRIMARY DEVIANCE
7.2.1 Deviant acts that have not been publicly labelled. They have many causes which are often trivial & mostly go uncaught. Those who commit them do not usually see themselves as deviant.
7.3 SECONDARY DEVIANCE
7.3.1 Results from societal reaction (e.g. from labelling someone as an offender) can involve stigmatising & excluding them from normal society. Others may see the offender solely in terms of the label, which becomes the individual's master status or controlling identity.
8 SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY
8.1 Being labelled may provoke a crisis for the individual's self-concept & lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy in which they live up to the label, resulting in secondary deviance.
8.1.1 Further societal reaction may reinforce the individual's outsiders status & lead to them joining a deviant subculture that offers support, role models & a deviant career.
8.2 YOUNG'S study of hippy marijuana users illustrate these processes.
8.2.1 Drug use was initially peripheral to the hippies' lifestyle (primary deviance), but police persecution of them as junkies (societal reaction) led them to retreat into closed groups, developing a deviant subculture where drug use became a central activity (self-fulfilling prophecy).
8.2.2 The control processes aimed at producing law-abiding behaviour thus produced the opposite.
9 DEVIANCE AMPLIFICATION SPIRAL
9.1 In a deviance amplification spiral, the attempt to control deviance leads to it increasing rather than decreasing - resulting in greater attempts to control it &, in turn, yet more deviance, in an escalating spiral, as w/ the hippies described by YOUNG.
9.2 Folk devils & moral panics: COHEN'S study of the mods & rockers uses the concept of deviance amplification spiral.
9.3 Media exaggeration & distortion began a moral panic, w/ growing public concern.
9.3.1 Moral entrepreneurs called for a 'crackdown'. Police responded by arresting more youths, provoking more concern.
9.3.1.1 Demonising the mods & rockers as 'folk devils' marginalised them further, resulting in more deviance.
10 FUNCTIONALISTS see deviance producing social control, LABELLING THEORISTS see control producing further deviance.
11 CRITICISMS OF LABELLING THEORY
11.1 Accused of being too deterministic of assuming that once labelled, a self-fulfilling prophecy is inevitable.
11.2 Fails to explain why people commit primary deviance in the first place before they are labelled.
11.3 MARXISTS criticise it for failing to locate the origin of such labels in the unequal structure of capitalist society.
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