Labelling Theory: A Program for Dealing with Crime

932 Words Feb 19th, 2018 4 Pages
Whether conscious or subconsciously, they are a fundamental part of our lives. We label together foods, clothing, colours and things that are alike. But what happens when we expand this form of “labelling” to split up types of people? When we assume character traits about those who belong to a certain group, this can intensely affect the way many react in life. Those who are judged for their sexual orientation, gender, income, mental problems etc., may eventually begin to conform to a stereotype that they belong to. In turn, this stereotyping may be the reason for certain people to partake in deviance acts.
Labelling theory takes a micro and consensualist approach. At times, it can also be considered conflictual due to the fact that it may affect others but for the most part it relies on the question: why do people offend? This theory was created to help others understand that many of those who offend, may be living through a self-fulfilling prophecy in which their behaviour and identity may be influenced by the labels they adhere to. This theory states that deviance is not about the act, but the negative labels minorities or those who are seen as deviant from a standard cultural viewpoint. It also coincides with social-construction and symbolic interactionism analysis. In this essay, I will argue how labelling theory, developed by Howard Becker, can affect someone’s probability to acting deviant because of the labelling group they conform to. I will…