Labeling Theories And Labeling Theory

3093 Words May 4th, 2015 13 Pages
Labeling Theory

Introduction to the Labeling Theory:

Labeling theory is a theory of how individuals’ self-identity and how behavior can be determined or influenced by the labels used to describe or classify them. The theory is a huge part of criminology that aims to dictate why certain people who commit crimes are defined as deviant, while others who commit crimes are not depicted as deviant. The labeling theory asks who applies what label to whom, why they do this, and what happens as a result of this label. For example, a person put in jail is more likely to be labeled as a criminal, whereas someone who speeds and gets a ticket is not. Even though both acts committed were illegal the person is labeled differently. Labeling theory is interested in the effects of labeling a person. It is quite clear that almost everyone will commit a crime at some point in his or her life. So, what causes one person to be labeled as deviant and others are not? Along with this, why when someone is labeled deviant are he or she more likely to commit another crime? Deviant behavior is behavior that is not accepted in society. It is behavior far from the average, failure to obey group rules, potentially the effect of a mental problem/disease, or a way to lessen the stability of society. People disapprove of this behavior and it could even be harmful. It is not how a “normal” person should act. When depicting deviance it is crucial to know the difference between primary and secondary. In…

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