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Key Premises of Labeling Theory

Key Premises of Labeling Theory - and characteristics...

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Key Premises of Labeling Theory : -- Most people engage in some rule breaking behavior that falls under the category of primary deviance > nonconformity that is temporary, exploratory, trivial or easily concealed... This kind of deviance typically goes undetected. However, the situation changes significantly if a person's deviant acts are discovered and made public by significant others, especially if these others seek the help of "third parties." -- The person may then be officially labeled as "deviant" > e.g., as nut, weirdo, pervert, criminal, etc. This application of a label is a crucial event. A label is particularly powerful and "sticky" when applied to a person... (Highlight notion of the self-fulfilling prophecy ) -- Labels can become a "master status" - i.e., a status through which all other behavior
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Unformatted text preview: and characteristics become interpreted. ..-- "Labeling" theorists stress that labeling someone as deviant tends to force him to identify himself as deviant and to associate with other deviants, which in turn reinforces his deviance and leads him down the path of a deviant "career." Key point : Deviance is not inherent to particular acts or attributes; instead, it is something that gets created and defined through social and POLITICAL processes. .. What becomes most important in understanding "deviance" is understanding who has the POWER to apply the label of deviant to particular acts, attributes, or individuals. .. This was clearly illustrated in the assigned readings you took the quiz on - particularly the Chambliss article on policing. .....
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