Labeling Theory Essay

1935 Words Nov 23rd, 2005 8 Pages
Labeling Theory When an individual become labeled as a criminal it becomes their "master status." "…deviance is not a quality of the act the person 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 behavior is behavior that people so label" Howard S. Becker, (1963) Outsiders, (p.9). If you are labeled as a criminal, people do not consider all the good things you have done; they just see that you committed some type of a felony and are now a criminal. Once a person is labeled and judged by society it is very hard to get back to what they once had and people often have an identity change. This is a social …show more content…
This study shows that treatment for these individuals truly do help people. People can make a change in their lives by rehabilitation. If you do not give prisons the opportunity of a treatment program then the labeling can almost work in favor of the government because once these individuals are released and arrested soon after for similar drug related crimes the government is somewhat proven right. Saying that these people should be labeled because that's who they are and their never going to change; if a few months or years in prison can't help them then what will? The individual lives up to the label that they established for themselves and we continue on labeling them with. The study that was conducted by Jon Gunnar Bernburg "examined whether official labeling increases the probability of involvement in subsequent crime and deviance by triggering processes that have negative consequences for conventional opportunities" (Bernburg). Bernburg was searching to see if crime in early adulthood was caused by labeling adolescents. "Our findings lend considerable support to the structural implications of the labeling approach" (Bernburg). By labeling deviant this has a profound impact on the way the society views this person; which in turn may be a "crucial step in building a stable pattern of deviant behavior" (Angermeyer). Once labeled, people tend to assume that deviant traits are

Related Documents