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Labeling Theory In Criminology and Policy Making - College Papers

Labeling Theory In Criminology and Policy Making

An Analysis of the Implications of Labeling Theory for the Discipline of Criminology and for Policy-Making Purposes

The labeling process of bygone centuries left a mark on the poor that has never completely disappeared. People still speak of the 'poor but honest,' and what this phrase expresses is the way man in the past looked upon his social surroundings. - Charles R. Tittle, 1983

Introduction

The nation's prisons are overcrowded, dangerous places and things are not getting any better. One of the major criticisms that has been increasingly directed at the criminal justice system as well as society at large is the tendency to assign a label to an individual based on past ...

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future. A summary of the research will be provided in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

Background and Overview. An increasingly common phrase being heard in America today is "Don't label me!" This reaction may be largely in response to the persistent and lingering aspects of a dangerous practice that has been proven time and again to be largely ineffective for criminal justice and policy-making purposes, but which does not seem to be going anywhere soon. According to Freilich, Raybeck and Savishinsky (1991), George Herbert Mead and his colleagues at the Chicago School were among the first sociologists to emphasize both social process and the role of individual perception in the construction of social life. "Their influence is reflected in a recent, major treatment of deviance, namely, labeling theory, which is largely the work of Howard Becker (1963), Albert Cohen, (1962), Edwin Lemert (1967) and others. In sum, labeling theory maintains that deviance is a social ...

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et al. 1997).
Labeling theory and deviant behavior can also be characterized as interactional theories; from this perspective, labeling represents an interactive process that takes place over time. As a result, the reverse causal process in which change in a behavior results in changes in labels is also a possibility. According to Downs et al., "The initial appearance of deviant behavior can itself result in others using deviant labels to describe the individual in question" (2). Consequently, cross-sectional studies of labeling theory techniques can erroneously identify the causal direction for an observed empirical relationship between labeling and deviant behavior (Downs et al. ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 8/12/2018 05:04:19 PM
Category: Government
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 4780
Pages: 18

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