Sociological Theory Concepts and Evidence of Crime and Deviance

Published: 2021-07-07 00:03:46
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Labelling Theory or Sociological theory derives from the “social interaction” approach in social-psychology. Labelling theory is the most significant methodology to recognize the behavior of the deviant and criminal. Labelling theoretician are involved in why and how certain actions are described as criminal; no action is fundamentally criminal itself. For labelling theoretician, no action is deviant in itself, deviance is a social concept. Therefore, a person or action only becomes deviant when labelled by people as deviant. Labelling theoretician claim that social control agencies like police and court influence to label specific groups as criminal. Labelling theory declares that by labelling specific people as deviant or crime society boosts them to become more so. The general idea behind this theory is that crime is socially created/constructed, agents of social control label the helpless as deviant and criminal based on conventional/orthodox assumptions and this develop effects such as criminal career and deviancy amplifications (Scimecca, 1977).Howard Backer in 1963 demonstrates that how crime is the result of social communications by using the example of the dispute between two people. According to him, moral entrepreneurs (interactive groups) create deviance by creating the rules and by relating those rules to a specific people and labeling them as an outdoors (Akers, 2011). Cohen introduced the term “moral panic” in order to show the effects of the coverage of media to make the persons to categorize themselves as either rockers or mods which really facilitated to generate the violence that took place among them, which further facilitated to approve them as violent in the views/eyes of the society (Goode and Ben-Yehuda, 2010).Labelling theory debates that the criminal conduct happens as a result of the leading social group labelling minority group who are observed to be performing actions which are against social values. When the society gives undesirable/negative expressions to the person, this influences the individual to accept the label to become a deviant by implementing the nature of a deviant person in order to approve the expectation of the society.Jock Young in 1971 established the concepts of secondary deviance in his learning of “hippy marijuana peoples” (Baron, 2003). Edwin Lemert in 1972 established the concept of the primary and secondary deviance to influence the truths that everyone is busy in deviant’s action, but only some individuals are trapped being deviant and labelled as deviant (Akers, 2011). Primary deviance denotes to those actions which have not widely labelled and are thus of tiny reactions while Secondary deviance denotes to those deviance which is the consequence of the feedback of others which is significant. Edwin concluded that it was the social burden to express better in the society which led to some persons creating difficulties with stuttering (Akers, 2011).In society, labelling can show a significant role in how persons interact with the other individuals daily. Labelling is the procedure of giving a single name/label that they have not select for themselves. Labelling theory is related with negative significances, and usually turns around deviance. Therefore, deviant conduct is criminal, resulting in authorized issues/ramifications. The best example of negative deviance is Hunger Games. Basically, Hunger Games is an interested movie in which the single person had to kill and fight each other until only one individual was left who would be the champion, providing assets for his/her district and constructing them rich. Peeta and Katniss were the last two person, they went against the system of the games and that a single deed changed the entire game ever. In Hunger Games, both performed in a way that unsuccessful to achieve the accepted values. In the opinion of the society and government they were showing negative deviances. They rejected to approve the rules even nevertheless everyone else after did what society said. They refused, both the established culture objectives and the established means of obtaining those goals. Hunger Games encourages the purpose of encouraging the change related with social and elucidating norms because they determined not to approve in order to express them that they will not fight to murder each other just for their fun.Nick Cohen said that “One law for the rich, no law for the poor”. Law is not applied equally to all because the system of justice do not protects the weak against the strong. On the other hand, in backward areas, these same events might be view as bent to the juvenile delinquency, which recommends that “discrimination of race and class” act an important part in the procedure of allocating labels of deviance. Likewise, statistics express that police murder Black people at a greater number than Whites, even when they are defenseless and have performing no crime, suggests that the misuse of deviant labels as a result of ethnic stereotypes is at tragedy (Stevens, 2007).There are many strength factors of the labelling theory. Firstly, sociological and labelling theories have helped to produce a great deal of successive research into the results of labelling e.g., Rist in 1970 has exposed how the expectations of the negative teacher positioned on the working class guides to anti-school subgroups. This recommends that the ideas of sociologists have made a main role to the learning of deviance and crime. Secondly, sociological and labelling theories have achieved the experimental support e.g., Goffman in 1968 has presented how the medication of the mentally sick leads to humiliation. This recommends that there is some legitimacy in the sociologist thoughts. Thirdly, labelling theories emphasize the causes for distinctions in deviances between societies. Fourthly, this theory also presents that law is often imposed in a biased way. Lastly, Cultural efforts to limit the deviance can generate further deviance (Innes, 2004).There are a lot of criticism factors of the labelling theory. Firstly, labelling theory becomes unsuccessful to demonstrate that why persons performs primary deviance. Secondly, ignores those person who energetically continue deviance. Thirdly, provides the victim status to the offender and ignores the actual victim/criminal of the crime i.e., sexual assaulter is not a victim. Fourthly, labeling theory highlights the communicating procedure of labeling and ignores the structures and procedures that guide to the deviant action. Such procedures might contain differences in behaviors, opportunities, socialization, and how economic and social structures influence these. Lastly, learning theory have been argued on a theoretical theory, while Marxists theory admits that labelling theory point out important and valid questions, they discuss that the theoretical has a weak opinion of social and power control e.g., the theory becomes unsuccessful to clarify why the extent and nature of deviance and crime is socially created.  They also debate that socialists becomes unsuccessful to focus the vast structural origins of deviance and crime.  This recommends that labelling theory only suggest a partial opinion on deviance and crime (Spitzer, 1975).Labelling Theory derives from the “social interaction”. Labelling theory is the most appropriate method to recognize the behavior of the deviant and criminal. In society, labelling can show a significant role in how persons interact with the other individuals daily. Labelling is the procedure of giving a single name/label that they have not select for themselves. Labelling theory suggests that we should avoid ‘shaming and naming’ criminals since this is expected to build an opinion of them as evil outdoors and, by eliminating them from the society and impulse them into more deviance. Goffman used the term stigma in labelling theory. He used this term because offenders are stigmatized and this appreciates them to perform criminal actions according to labels titled to them (Innes, 2004). In order to eliminate crime we should eliminate the negative contortions which are given to person, specifically offenders/criminals. The society/culture should take crime as an error committed by an individual, which should be overturned through therapy/rehabilitation rather than confessing that crime is the nature of the individual.ReferencesScimecca, J.A., 1977. Labeling theory and personal construct theory: Toward the measurement of individual variation. J. Crim. Law Criminol. 1973- 68, 652–659.Akers, R.L., 2011. Social learning and social structure: A general theory of crime and deviance. Transaction Publishers.Goode, E., Ben-Yehuda, N., 2010. Moral panics: The social construction of deviance. John Wiley & Sons.Baron, S.W., 2003. Self-control, social consequences, and criminal behavior: Street youth and the general theory of crime. J. Res. Crime Delinquency 40, 403–425.Stevens, A., 2007. When two dark figures collide: Evidence and discourse on drug-related crime. Crit. Soc. Policy 27, 77–99.Innes, M., 2004. Signal crimes and signal disorders: notes on deviance as communicative action. Br. J. Sociol. 55, 335–355.Spitzer, S., 1975. Toward a Marxian theory of deviance. Soc. Probl. 22, 638–651.

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