labeling theory

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Student’s Name Course Tutor’s Name Date Labeling Theory Labeling Theory Labeling theory postulates that individuals come to recognize and act in ways that show the way other people label them. The theory is linked with the sociology of deviance and crime, in which it is applied to explain how social processes of treating and labeling someone as criminally deviant nurtures deviant behavior, and has negative consequences for that individual since others are most likely to be prejudiced against them due to the label. The theory originates from in the 1960s via Howard Becker’s piece. It explains how individuals’ behavior clash with social customs and develop deviant behavior through labeling. For example, a young man staying in a town frequented by mobs might be labeled as a mob member. As a result, the person might start behaving like a member of the gang or become one. In some cases, the individuals labeled integrate the label into his or her self-construct i.e. thinking oneself as a gang member or a gang. Studies have determined that persons of lower social status are more probable to be labeled deviant. Therefore, in sum, the labeling theory is useful in understanding deviance as a process as the labeling makes a person start behaving in an unusual manner by including the labels in their self-concept. The Saints and the Roughnecks Labeling The police officers, for example, labeled the Saints boys as good people because they were polite, remorseful, and apologetic. When they were caught by the police running a stop sign and speeding, they were set free because they were polite and apologetic of their delinquent behaviors. Accordingly, “the

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