Labelling Theory: The Labeling Theory

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Labeling theory is a theory of how the self-identity and the behavior of a person is used to describe and classify them. It is closely related to stereotyping and first impression judgement. The labeling theory classifies one as deviant based on ones act towards a label. Primary deviance, secondary deviance, stigma, and master status are concepts that applies and goes with the labeling theory. Primary deviance is the first stage of deviance, and the deviant behavior is basic deviance such as drinking alcohol, or smoking marijuana. The acts of primary deviant behaviors doesn’t give a person the label of deviant. Secondary deviance is the next the next stage of deviance that goes beyond primary deviance. The acts of secondary deviance tends …show more content…
If there was two girls that were going to a clothing store to get clothes for a party that night, but neither of the girls had enough money to buy the outfit that they wanted to wear. Upon reaching the store the two girls decided that they will steal whatever they couldn’t buy. Only one of the two girls had a large hand bag with them at the time, so the girl with the hand bag decided to put the stolen clothes in her hand bag. After the girls were done shopping, they tried to leave the store but the girl hand bag was stopped by the security guard, and was arrested for stealing outside in front of all her classmates, while the other girl just walked away and watched as her other classmates did as well. When the girl that was arrested returned to school all her classmates looked at her different and called her a thief, and did not want to hang out with her anymore, even her friend that she went with her to the store to steal. Now that all her classmates has labeled her a thief, she feels that everyone will think of her as a thief forever, and feels like she has been excluded and cast out from her peers. From being labeled everyday as a thief she started to believe that all she will ever be known for is a thief, so adapted and built her self-concept and self-image around the label of being a thief. Now the girl has grown up and has accepted to label, she is working at a clothing store and is stealing from her job and gets caught by her manager, and the manager calls the police and charges her with theft so now she has a criminal record and is labeled by society as a criminal. When she tries to find a new she has to inform the employer that she has been charged with theft and it is on her criminal record, so it is extremely hard for her to employment. Without a source of income she can’t pay her bills or survive, so she steals money from her family, friends, and steals items from stores and sell items for

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