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Flashcards in Interactionism And Labelling Theory Deck (7)
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How might crime be socially constructed?


For labelling theorists such as Becker deviance is simply a social construct that arises from labelling people insiders and outsiders of a group.

Social control agencies such as the police label certain groups as criminals.

Cicourel argues that police use typifications of the typical delinquent to guide arrests and labels etc.

Working class and ethnic minorities are much more likely to fit the typification and be convicted for deviance.

The DARK FIGURE is the difference between the official statistics and the real rate of crime because people’s crime that aren’t under typifications are underreported.


What might be the effect of labelling?


Lermert argues labelling crates secondary deviance

Primary deviance - acts that haven’t been publicly labelled so therefore labelling fails to explain why people still deviate without labelling.

Secondary deviance - Deviance from being labelled itself can exclude and stigmatise people from society leading to more deviance.


How might a self-fulfilling prophecy exist in crime?


Being labelled as deviant may alter how people view themselves and their future leading to adaptation to label, creating further secondary deviance. Further societal backlash may add to individuals outsider status and join a subculture that offers support and criminal activity.

Young’s 1971 study of marijuana users found that their habits were initially primary deviance but due to societal reaction became secondary deviance leading to an underground market etc.


What is a Deviance amplification spiral?

Attempts to control deviance can increase deviance creating a spiral , Cohen’s 1972 study of Mods and Rockers found that media exaggeration, folk devils and moral panics created marginalisation and broadcast increased deviance.


What does D argue about the meaning of suicide?

Interactionist Douglas argues that the deviance of suicide isn’t understood well through official statistics etc and most instead be discovered through qualitative sources such as suicide letters.

However there is no reason to suppose that sociologist interrogations will be any truer than coroners.


What does A argue about coroners common sense knowledge?

Atkinson’s found that Coroners use taken for granted assumptions and typifications to create assumptions on suicide.
He also argues that doctors shouldn’t be allowed it just attach labels to mentally unstable people.


What is Gs theory on institutionalisation?

Goffman 1961 argues that the effects of a mental hospital further help to separate people from their last lives and their old identity is killed off. He does crucially show how this can also be non deterministic also showing that some inmates rejected the institutionalisation.