Labeling Theory

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Labeling Theory When an individual become labeled as a criminal it becomes their "master status." "…deviance is not a quality of the act the person commits, but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an 'offender.' The deviant is one to whom that label has successfully been applied; deviant behavior is behavior that people so label" Howard S. Becker, (1963) Outsiders, (p.9). If you are labeled as a criminal, people do not consider all the good things you have done; they just see that you committed some type of a felony and are now a criminal. Once a person is labeled and judged by society it is very hard to get back to what they once had and people often have an identity change. This is a social…show more content…
The person begins to accept this label and begins to live up to it because that's all they are told. They begin to adapt to in and just live with the label rather than overcoming the pressure from society. It is very hard for an individual to stand up to societal views. According to the theory, labeling and not helping is most responsible for the criminal behavior and social problems that continue to occur. Once an individual is labeled there is no getting around that through both the government and society. As a society and country we have to stop labeling and look to help. By helping, we can stop individuals from committing crimes and help them turn their lives around. Everyone in the society views someone who committed crime at a young age still a criminal and don't think any different of them. Also we think of a drug abuser as a "druggy" rather then asking, what can we do to help this individual? "Although some authors indicate that the consumption of socially disvalued media contents may have a symbolic value for people with a high degree of criminal involvement, or suggest that media may provide them with useful information, the link between this criminality dimension and media use has seldom been thoroughly studied" (Vandebosch). The media could make it worse because they continue the labeling problem and bring it

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