Labelling Theory

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Labeling theory had its origins in Suicide, a book by French sociologist Émile Durkheim. He found that crime is not so much a violation of a penal code as it is an act that outrages society. He was the first to suggest that deviant labeling satisfies that function and satisfies society 's need to control the behavior. As a contributor to American Pragmatism and later a member of the Chicago School, George Herbert Mead posited that the self is socially constructed and reconstructed through the interactions which each person has with the community. The labeling theory suggests that people obtain labels from how others view their tendencies or behaviors. Each individual is aware of how they are judged by others because he or she has…show more content…
In Mind, Self, and Society (1934),[1] he showed how infants come to know persons first and only later come to know things. According to Mead, thought is both a social and pragmatic process, based on the model of two persons discussing how to solve a problem. Our self-image is, in fact, constructed of ideas about what we think others are thinking about us. While we make fun of those who visibly talk to themselves, they have only failed to do what the rest of us do in keeping the internal conversation to ourselves. Human behavior, Mead stated, is the result of meanings created by the social interaction of conversation, both real and imaginary. [edit]Frank Tannenbaum Frank Tannenbaum is considered the grandfather of labeling theory. His Crime and Community (1938),[2] describing the social interaction involved in crime, is considered a pivotal foundation of modern criminology. While the criminal differs little or not at all from others in the original impulse to first commit a crime, social interaction accounts for continued acts that develop a pattern of interest to sociologists. Tannenbaum first introduced the idea of 'tagging '.[3] While conducting his studies with delinquent youth, he found that a negative tag or label often contributed to further involvement in delinquent activities. This initial tagging may cause the individual to adopt it as part of their
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