Labelling Perspectives Within The 1960 's And 1970 ' S

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Labelling perspectives emerged in the 1960’s and 1970’s, particularly in advanced capitalist countries, including the USA, where social reaction became a popular means to label ‘defiant’ and ‘deviant’ behaviour in society (White, Haines & Asquith, 2012, p. 97; Martin, 2012, p. 134). Juveniles who have been labelled due to social reaction are likely to commit themselves to the new label, resulting in a change of identity in order to fit the label, which often generates negative consequences (White et al., 2012, p. 99). However, it is not only juveniles who experience labelling, ex-offenders exiting prison encounter the stigma and often experience difficulty in finding sustainable employment (Visher, Debus-Sherrill, & Yahner, 2011). This essay will provide a history into labelling perspectives and discuss key features of the theory through contemporary examples, while outlining main strengths and limitations of the theory. This essay will argue how labelling perspectives can be detrimental to individuals experiencing the stigmatisation of labelling. Labelling perspectives and its theorists focus on individuals who have been deemed as criminals and labeled by society (Tannenbaum, 1938, p. 20). Frank Tannenbaum (1938) has been widely regarded as the first labelling theorist, believing that criminal behaviour is learnt through individuals interacting within communities where crime was prevalent (Lee, Menard & Bouffard, 2014, p. 4). Tannenbaum believed when an individual had been
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