Deviance, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. There is nothing inherently deviant in any human act, something is deviant exclusively because some people have been successful in labelling it so. J. L Simmons The definition of the situation implies that if you define a situation as real, it is real only in its consequences.
Labelling theory, stemming from the influences of Cooley, Mead, Tannenbaum, and Lemert, has its origins somewhere within the stage setting of the twentieth century. However, Edwin Lemert is widely considered the producer and founder of the original variate of labelling theory. This paper, not a summary, provides a brief history of labelling theory, as well as, its role in the sociology of deviance. It attempts to explore the contributions made by labelling theorists, the criticism towards labelling theorists, and the discussion surrounding its reality as an positive theory. In essence, the main focus of this paper besides proving an misgiving of Howard Becker, is to describe and evaluate `labelling theory` to the study of crime and deviance, by way of an in depth discussion.
The theoretical study of social reaction to deviance has been carried out under different names, much(prenominal) as, labelling theory, interactionist perspective, and the social constructionist perspective. In the sociology of deviance, the labelling theory of deviant behaviour is lots used interchangeably with the societal reaction theory of deviancy.
As a matter of position, both phrases shoot for equally to the fact that sociological explanations of deviance function as a result of social control rather than a product of psychological science or genetic inheritance. Some sociologists would explain deviance by accepting without question definitions of deviance and concerning themselves with primary aetiology. However, labelling theorists stress the point of seeing deviance from the viewpoint of the deviant individual. They claim...
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