Labeling Theory And Its Effect On Society Essay

812 Words Sep 2nd, 2015 4 Pages
A sociologist may apply the labeling theory to Chambliss’ findings of the “Roughnecks” and “Saints”. The labeling theory is a view that claims the labels people are given have an effect on the way that society perceives them as well as how they perceive themselves. In turn, the resulting behavior can either display deviance or conformity (Text, p.164). In Chambliss’ case, the “Roughnecks” were given a harsh reputation and viewed as trouble. Due to their label, they ended up on the wrong path later in adulthood and their conduct was punished more severely than the “Saints” who committed similar deviant acts. In comparison to the Roughnecks, the Saints were seen as good boys that would engage in occasional pranks (Chambliss in Articles, p. 304). After high school, most of the Saints pursued greater things and had decent lives. For most of the Roughnecks, their social status led them to be scrutinized so critically. The expectation society holds for you vary based on prestige, reputation, wealth, etc. (Henslin in Articles, p.266). The Roughnecks were known to have less than the Saints in terms of appearance and the way they carried themselves. Their lower social class than the Saints also contributed to the public’s reaction to the Roughnecks. White-collar crime can also be classified under cases of deviance that is either overlooked or not taken very seriously because of society’s definition of what’s right and wrong (Lecture on Deviance, August 3). Similar to Chambliss’…

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