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Flashcards in Interactionism And Labelling Theory Deck (30)
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1

Who are all the key theorists for interactionism and labelling theory?

- Becker
- Cicourel
- Lemert
- Cohen
- Young

2

Why do labelling theorists reject structural causes?

They believe it’s more important to explore:

- how and why people are considered deviant
- the effect of being labelled deviant on behaviour

3

What is a key quote by Becker?

“Deviance is not a quality of the act of person commits but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an offender”

4

What does Becker believe about laws?

- laws are a reflection of the activities of p’s who seek to create and enforce laws
- he calls these p’s moral entrepreneurs
- these people lead a moral crusade to change the law

5

Describe moral entrepreneurs

They fall into 2 categories:

1. Rule creators - believes there is a threatening social evil that needs to be tackled
2. Rule enforcers - execute and apply the rules of offenders

6

What are some examples of rule creators and rule enforcers?

- Rule creators: politicians, religious leaders
- Rule enforcers: police, courts

7

What is a key example (AO2) of Becker’s theory about moral entrepreneurs?

- study of outlawing cannabis in USA in 1937
- was widely used in southern states of USA
- Federal Bureau of Narcotics saw cannabis as a growing evil
- this influences the change
- through campaigns the drug was banned from growing and using

8

What is Cicourel study to look at the negotiation of justice?

studied how law enforcers understand and interpret what they see

9

What did Cicourel find about the police?

- They operated on pre existing stereotypes of what a delinquent is like
- so they concentrate on certain types of p’s
- mainly working class who demonstrated ‘routine suspicion’

10

According to Cicourel’s ideas what does police stereotyping to lead to?

- working class areas are policed more
- more arrests
- confirms stereotypes
- resulting in law enforcement showing a class bias

11

What does Cicourel say about justice?

- justice isn’t fixed, it’s negotiable
- e.g middle class youth are less likely to be charged as the don’t fit criminal stereotypes

12

Describe the consequences of labelling according to Lemert

- there is primary and secondary deviance:

- primary: deviant acts that haven’t been publicly labelled
- secondary: societal reaction which occurs when an offender is publicly exposed and the label of deviance is attached

13

According to Becker, describe what happens when someone is labelled?

- Becker used term master status
- the label overrides all other qualities
- being publicly labelled as a criminal can involve being stigmatised, shamed and excluded

14

Describe what secondary deviance can lead to

- a self fulfilling prophecy
- produces higher level deviance
- produces deviant subcultures and a deviant career
- when labelled p’s lose legitimate opportunities so turn to deviant careers

15

Summarise the effects of labelling and selective enforcement described by Becker and Lemert

- it’s not the act but the societal reaction that creates serious deviance
- the social process that is meant to promote law abiding behaviour produces the opposite

16

What key study did Lemert (1972) do that studied to effects of labelling?

- studied coastal Inuits in Canada who had a problem of stuttering
- suggested it was caused by importance to ceremonial speech making
- failure to speak well = humiliation
- speaking difficulties in children caused anxieties which caused stuttering

17

What was Cohen’s (1972) key research into the effects of labelling?

- some p’s demonised by media as folk devils
- this caused moral panic
- Cohen applied this to ‘mods’ and ‘rockers’ - 1960’s youth cultures who clashed when they met
- the clash was exaggerated by media and caused police to arrest more youths
- the demonising of mods and rockers caused more marginalisation and more deviance

18

What key research did Young (1971) do to study the effects of labelling?

- studied marijuana users in Notting hill
- marijuana was a leisure activity for most p’s
- public and political pressures led police to take action
- these p’s were then seen as a dangerous subculture
- police increasingly arrested these p’s
- these p’s then felt more marginalised and retreated into closed groups and became more of outsiders and rejected more social norms

19

How does labelling theory have policy implications?

- support that negative labelling pushes offenders towards deviant careers
- so to reduce deviance we should enforce fewer rules for people to break
- e.g legalise soft drugs

20

What does Braithwaite (1989) believe about labelling?

- unlike other labelling theories the sees them positively
- he sees 2 types of shaming:

1. Disintegrative shaming - the crime and criminal is labelled as bad
2. Reintegrative shaming - labels the act but not the actor

21

What are the strengths of the labelling theory?

- provides insight into nature of deviance
- shows how law is often enforced by discrimination
- shows society attempts to control deviance that backfires and create more

22

How does labelling theories give an insight into the nature of deviance?

- moves away from structural causes
- focuses of how and why p’s are considered deviant
- focuses on how being labelled deviant affects behaviour

23

How does labelling theory show that the law is enforced by discrimination?

- a criminal is socially constructed through selective policing
- justice is negotiable (Cicourel)
- Marxist: laws are enforced by those in power to maintain capitalist wealth

24

How does labelling theory show that an attempt to control deviance backfires and creates more deviance?

- functionalists: some crime is necessary so controlling it disturbs society’s harmony
- this disturbs the balance and backfires
- labelling can lead to deviant amplification

25

What are the weaknesses of the labelling theory?

- Takes responsibility away from the criminal
- assumes acts aren’t deviant until labelled
- doesn’t explain the causes of deviant behaviour
- too deterministic
- fails to analyse the source of power creating deviance

26

Why is taking away responsibility from the criminal a weakness of labelling theory?

- justifies crime
- takes away responsibility from criminals
- makes it harder to punish criminals in court

27

How does labelling theory assume an act is not deviant until labelled?

- deviance is subjective
- p’s are aware they’re being deviant before being labelled
- suggests someone who kills isn’t a murderer until labelled
- therefore the theory is only applied to smaller crimes

28

How does labelling theory not explain the causes of deviant behaviour or the different kinds of acts?

- ignores structural factors
- some structural theories do explain why
- coward and Ohlin discuss 3 types of crime which is more applicable

29

Why is labelling theory too deterministic?

- we can reject labels (self denying prophecy)
- assumes we don’t have free will

30

How does labelling theory not analyse the source of power that is creating deviance?

- lacks detail of the type of power and who
- Marxists: those in power are m/c who allow w/c to suffer
- this leads to frustration which leads to crime
- unlike Marxists, labelling theory doesn’t explain this