Labeling Theory And Its Effect On Society

1141 WordsFeb 27, 20175 Pages
We all read labels, whether it is on a food product or some other item that we want to know more about what is contained within a package. The theory of labeling provides the same information about people, their involvement within daily life, and the ways that they behave. The main arguments within the labeling theory is that we need to as a society focus on the behavior of individuals that are labeling others as oppose to those who are committing crimes. Labeling theory argues that it is these efforts at social control that ultimately trigger the processes that trap individuals in criminal career. (253) This puts forth the idea that the “offender” will be labeled by those within the social environment in which they function within and…show more content…
It would then leave the individual with only illegitimate means to continue to provide for themselves or their families therefore, increasing the crime rate. However, the deterrence theory disagrees with the labeling theory in that there is a need for punishments and that the social “labeling” will help stop an individual’s criminal activity since they don’t want others to see them in such a way. The Deterrence theory puts forth that these negative social consequences of being called a criminal or other name along with formal consequences would keep individuals from participating in any criminal activity or further activity. Accordingly, we look at how understanding how each theory can not only help define criminal behavior, but how each theory could expand or compliment another theory. The idea that social environments have become more important is essential to understanding individual behaviors and how they adapt. Social learning, discusses the behavior of individuals is influenced by both positive and negative consequences. This knowledge demonstrates the more involvement that an individual has with a criminal activity has, the more they learn about that activity and receive messages about the interactions. However, the individual doesn’t have to be an expert in the activity to participate within it. The messages that the individual would receive again affects how not only they view those around them but themselves as
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