The Labelling Theory Of Crime

1085 Words5 Pages
Labelling Theory of Crime

The theoretical approaches to crime are all different, but conceptual integrated theoretical models associated with crime and how a person’s behaviour towards crime is viewed and dealt with, through the use of these theoretical approaches to crime. These theoretical approaches to crime include, Lombrosian, Differential Association, Anomie, Labelling, and Critical Criminology. The theory discussed below attempt to explain the meaning and popularity history of the labelling theory. An American sociologist, Howard Becker was the founder of the labelling theory. A significant theory based around the social deviations and the self-identity and behaviour of an individual may be impacted or influenced. This
…show more content…
The popularity of the labelling theory was shown to be widely accepted to society as an explanation for criminal and other deviant behaviour (Knutsson, 1997. p.5). Showing that this theory was seen as an acceptable theory, for the consequences of an individual’s deviant behaviour. Between the early 1960s and the late 1970s the labelling theory was viewed as the dominant sociological theory of crime (Plummer, n.d. p.191). This is when the popularity of the labelling theory become upon, but then fell into decline because of mixed results of practical research. (Crime Causation: Sociological Theories - Labeling Theory, n.d.) Labelling theory became part of a more general criminological theory of sanctions that included deterrence theories that was focused on crime decrease possibilities of sanctions (Paternoster & Bachman, 2013). It was seen as a theory where it attracted young people of sociology, who used this theory as a basis of developing critiques of the dominant examples in deviancy analysis. Some studies found that being labelled a criminal increased subsequent crime (Crime Causation: Sociological Theories - Labeling Theory, n.d.). A reason why labelling theory became popular. Social construction played an important role in labelling theory. This is because labelling theory is closely linked to this term, where people are labelled by…show more content…
Becker (1962, as cited in Plummer n.d. p.191) stated “Social groups create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance, and by applying those rules to particular people and labelling them as outsiders… Deviance is not a quality of the act the persons commits, but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an “offender.” The deviant is one to whom that label has successfully been applied deviant behaviour is behaviour that people so label. This statement made, is evident that society is the cause of deviant behaviours. Labelling an individual based on the actions and behaviour of an individual, does not make that individual a deviant person, who should be labelled as a criminal or homosexual, and so on. Hence why labelling theory is no longer popular, because of how society use the labelling theory. A theory that society seem to be stereotypical towards, but do not use the correct term to define a deviant
Open Document