Flashcards in Social Construction of Crime- Interactionalists Deck (6):
A crime is what "moral entrepreneurs" define as a crime. Moral entrepreneurs are powerful people who influence the law. No action in itself is deviant, it has to excite some sort of social reaction to become deviant- so it is not the action itself that is important, but the reaction of others. E.g Saudi Arabia women can't drive.
An exaggerated story in the media results in a moral panic and then deviance amplification (young people categorise themselves as this). So, the media presents a model for outsiders to observe and adopt. E.g Mods and Rockers, deviance soon became part of their identity (their master status).
The police play a big role in the construction of crime. They stereotype WC and BME groups meaning they target them more. MC children are able to 'play the game' when caught and talk themselves out of crime. Crime is a social construct since justice is negiotiable. E.g patrolling wc areas more.
Ignores that there are a large amount of crimes that society is in agreement on the fact that it is criminal, for example murder or child abuse.
However, this theory is relevant today on subjects such as Abortion, wherein some people class it as a crime and others don't- and whether it is or not is a result of the beliefs of those in power. Pro-Life and Pro-Choice compete.
Ignores the ability of youths to reject their label and not adopt a criminal identity.
However, does explain the fault of the media in the increase in crime- a stance not taken by many Sociologists.