Labeling Theory And Its Effect On Society Essay

1362 Words Apr 30th, 2015 6 Pages
Labeling Theory
Labeling Theory also known as Societal Reaction Theory which was founded by Edwin Lemert and Howard Becker. Labeling theory is the idea that behaviors are deviant when society labels them as deviant. People of society take certain behaviors as deviant and then attach this label to individuals and then determine the distinction between deviance and non-deviance. Labeled persons may include drug addicts, alcoholics, criminals, delinquents, prostitutes, sex offenders, and psychiatric patients and so on. The consequences of being labeled as deviant can be wide-ranging. Social research indicates that those who have negative labels usually have lower self-images, are more likely to reject themselves, and may even act more deviant as a result of the label. Once a person is labeled as deviant, it is hard to remove the label. Deviant people become characterized as a criminals or deviant and is likely to be treated as untrustworthy by others. A deviant person is more likely to accept the label that has been given to them, because they see themselves as deviant, and will act in a way that meets the expectations of that label.
Lemert describe the difference between primary deviance and secondary deviance. Primary deviance is rule-breaking behavior that is done by people who see themselves and seen by others as basically conformist. There are many reasons people break rules and different circumstances for kinds of reasons. When a person is labeled as deviant or a…

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