The Labeling Theory Of Deviance

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Many people in the United States are born with disabilities. People with disabilities have impairments that may be physical, cognitive, mental, emotional, developmental, or some combinations of these. In order, for someone to be diagnosed disabled he/ or she must see a doctor, who will label them disabled. In American culture having an impairment is out of the social norm. Society sees people with disabilities as inadequate or not quite human. Society creates deviance by making the rules, and anyone who breaks those rules of social norms are consider deviant. Society applies those rules to people with disabilities and labels them an outsider. “Deviance is not a quality of the person commits, but rather a consequence of the application by others …show more content…
Labeling is when a deviant status or stigma is imposed on an individual or a group that may or may not be breaking rules or may be seen an outcast by society. The reaction to the behavior or the person is the key in defining deviance. There are two types of deviance involved in the labeling theory, the first is primary deviance and the second is secondary deviance. “Primary deviance refers to common instances where individuals violate norms without viewing themselves as being involved in a deviant social role” (Inderbitzin, Bates, Gainey, 2015 p.139). “Secondary deviance occurs when a person begins to engage in deviant behavior as a means of defense, attack, or adjustment to the problems created by reactions to him or her” (Inderbitzin, Bates, Gainey, 2015, p.139). Labeling can alter an individual’s self-concept, by limiting conforming opportunities, and by encouraging involvement in a deviant sub-culture. Labels are more likely to apply to the powerless, the disadvantage, and the …show more content…
Disabled people are look down upon as if they are less human than a non-disabled person. Disabled people are consider incapable of doing everyday things on their own like driving, cooking, and many physical activities. “BY definition, of course, we believe the person with a stigma is not quite human. On the assumption, we exercise varieties of discrimination, through which we effectively, if often unthinkingly, reduce his life chances” (Goffman, 1963 p.5). In the United States having a mental illness will create a difficult time continuing or carrying on one’s conventional rules. Throughout an individual’s life he or she will always be subjected to stereotypes. Labeling will cause individuals to have lower self-esteem. David Rosenhan did a study of labeling and mental illness. Rosenhan had eight sane United States citizens act as pseudo patient and show signs of psychosis. All eight citizens were admitted to 12 different mental hospitals. “Once hospitalized, the pseudo patients immediately stopped stimulating symptoms and began acting “normal” again, yet they had a hard time proving themselves to be sane” (Inderbitzin, Bates, Gainey, 2015). Once society has gave someone a label it is very hard for the label to be removed, and often times it is not removed. Labeling an individual mentally will create a stigma or stereotype that will stay with them throughout their lives,

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