The Pros And Cons Of Labeling Theory

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In an article published in the Social Problem on February 1, 1975, Charles Wellford tackles the main usage of labeling theory based off the criminal law- violating behavior. Wellford addressed the nine assumptions developed by Schrag (1971) that distinguish labeling theory from other theoretical theory in hope to eliminate the validity of this theory for the criminology. The nine assumptions are: 1) no act is initial criminal, 2) the definition of criminal depended on powerful side, 4) people should not categorize people as a criminal or non- criminal, 5) getting caught is the first step in the labeling process, 6) the criminal justice system based their decision on what the offender did instead of their behavior, 7) age, social economic class, …show more content…
There are many evidences that support the fact that labeling leads to further crime and deviance. In other word, it calls the attention to the unintended consequences of the social control. Furthermore, the weakness of this theory is that the label doesn’t create deviant in the first place and that it highly disregards the actual behavior of the deviant. It just a formal way of informing everyone the unlawful action that someone had committed to the society. No one force them to do an unlawful action; the only one that can is themselves. It essentially ignores the primary deviance and seriously underestimates the influence that other variable have on the person behavior instead, it focus on the future occurrence. The labeling theorists pay too much on the process on the labeling and forgotten the cause of the action. Anyone can try and fight the label that is given to them and redefine themselves. The labeling theory had made it more difficult to compare studies and generalizes finding on why individual committed crime. Labeling theory can apply for both good and bad but labeling theory tends to lean toward the bad than the good. It focusses on the negative consequences of an individual as delinquent than the good deed that someone had done. Many theorists believe that informal labels can be very harmful especially young offender, ethnic minorities, and those that lived in poverty. The reason behind their belief is that labeling doesn’t really have any effect on the offender unless they accept those labels and view them as someone who is bad like how they are being label. Generally, when young offender get label they believe that there’s no way for them to turn back and fixed their mistake because now everyone will treat them differently compare to a normal person. This also apply to people that live in poverty and

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