Labelling as a Cause of Crime

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JD van Dyk Student number: Subject: CMY3701 Assignment 2 Unique number: 722609 Due Date: 18 August 2014 1. Discuss the contribution of Becker as an exponent of the labelling perspective Introduction The labelling perspective will definitely open our eyes to see the effects that society and social norms together with the process of labelling will have on people. An easy description of labelling is, first definition is; labelling – to put a name or word on something to describe or identify it, second definition is; labelling – to name or describe (someone or something) in a specified way. We do get more in detailed definitions of labelling and the labelling process, but shockingly enough is that a little word like “label” can have such a huge affect on society. People being labelled (negatively) will always be affected according to their label, and society plays an important role in the labelling process. In the next few paragraphs the contribution of Becker as an exponent of the labelling perspective will be discussed along with the process of labelling and the typology of deviants. Labelling as a cause of crime According to the Study Guide (The explanation of crime), Becker shortly discussed the way different sets of rules affect the theory of labelling as a cause of crime while developing his theory. This labelling theory, also known as the societal reaction theory does not only define deviants, it can also make them. When someone is labelled an offender they are forced by society to live according to this label which could minimise their chances of being law abiding citizens and limit their chances of finding decent jobs. When deviants realise that society is defining them as thieves or offenders, they feel the need to act out on these labels. Deviants then try to adapt to their new profile by participating in various deviant (criminal)
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