Applying the Labeling Perspective to the Alleged Abuse of the CSSA, as Well as Causes and Consequences

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What comes to your mind when you hear the words ‘Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme recipients’? Do you treat them equally? Do you commiserate with them? Do you think that they are lazy, jobless and reliant? Most people argued that there is alleged abuse of CSSA. They pointed out that the recipients are lazy, and are dependent on social welfare. This phenomenon can be explained by the labeling theory. I am going to apply the labeling perspective to the alleged abuse of CSSA, and illustrate the causes and consequences. According to Howard Becker’s labeling theory, ‘deviance is not a quality of the act person commits, but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an “offender”.’ (Becker …show more content…

(Department of Applied Social Sciences 2009) According to the Social Welfare Department (SWD), these two TV APIs aimed to encourage self-reliance and combat CSSA frauds. Yet, the tones and the use of terms seemed to assume that all CSSA recipients are suspects. It gave negative and misleading messages to the public that CSSA recipients are lazy, dishonest and greedy. Regarding the application of CSSA, the family members of the elderly person have to sign what is colloquially called a ‘bad son statement’ to declare not providing financial supports to their parents. (Legislative Council Secretariat 2012) In this statement, the government officials assume that family members should take care of the elderly and that they do not trust the applicants in the first place. They tend to label the family members as the ‘bad offspring’ as they do not take up the responsibility of taking care of the elderly. Some elderly are not eligible to apply for CSSA without this statement just because they do not want to bother their families, their family members refuse to sign it, or they do not what others to label their son as ‘bad son’. This discourages the eligible to join CSSA. Besides, it damages the elderly people’s relationship with their families and deprives them of dignity. According to the Press Release LCQ18, the participants of the Support for Self-reliance (SFS) Scheme are usually required to join the Community Work (CW)

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