Flashcards in Interactionalist Theories Deck (8):
Crime and deviance are socially constructed by moral entrepreneurs-
the powerful groups in society with the ability to influence the law. They lead a campaign to criminalise certain behaviours and acts. Recent examples of moral entrepreneurs changing the law include: smoking with an infant inthe car, prolife versus procoice and the legislation of marijuana campaigns.
The police hold certain 'typifications' about who they view as criminal based on official statistics. This results in them patrolling lower class areas and they stop and search young, disproportionately BME males, which ends up with these groups being overrepresented in crime stats.
Mods and Rockers.
The media play a role in exaggerating the behaviours of young people as a result of news values, and these sensational stories cause a moral panic. The continuation of the media to label young people and exaggerate their deviance, young people begin to categorise themselves as this label (deviance amplification).
Looked at youth deviancy (through the hippie subculture) as a response to marginalisation by agents of social control, which also led to deviancy amplification. This is because the police alienated the hippies and made them feel cut off from mainstream society and more likely to accept their label as a master status, and a self-fulfilling prophecy occurred.
This theory offers an explanation of why crimes change between cultures and throughout time, though ignores crimes that most societies agree are wrong such as murder.
The fact that BME males are at least 6x more likely to be stop and searched in cities across the UK supports that police stereotyping still occurs today.
Stan Cohen Evaluation
Theory does not show why the initial act of deviance between the mods and rockers was committed in the first place.