A person who has been labeled deviant will assume that they are deviant and will be treated as a deviant person and therefore self-fulfills their own prophecy as to the role and the status that they fill within society.
A similar theory was proposed by a study conducted by Edwin Lemert (Haralombos & Holborn 2004: 348). Lemert studied North Pacific Coastal Indians and examined social reactions and deviance. Lemert argued in correlation to his study was that deviance was caused by social reactions, his study found out that stuttering did not exist among American Indians and that they did not even have a word to describe speech irregularity. However the North Pacific Coastal Indians whom had a rich history involving speech as traditional ceremonies dictated and praised those who had oral abilities such as singing and speech-making. Because of this parents who usually initiate small children into the society by ceremonies such as this are very cautious and fearful of any speech impediment that their children might have. Those who failed or did not have the ability to become highly articulate were scorned and was vulnerable to peer pressure, this in return resulted a higher rate of speech defects due to cautionary fear. This was in comparison to the other American Indian societies that did not appear to label that such defects exist. Basing on the study Lemert concludes that by labeling and social awareness of such defects actually helps create them by putting anxiety and fear thus the children’s inability for articulate speech. Becker’s labeling theory was used by many sociologists as to how and why deviance was created but it did not address specifically as to how the labeling theory could be applied within society, what was missing from Becker’s labeling theory was that although to some extent it is necessarily true that his argument of deviance and crime was somewhat similar in essence and correlated its functions with one
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Becker developed the labeling theory in a response towards the problem of crime and deviance. Although the early sixties was also an evolution towards the independent human spirit which later on would evolve in to the hippie era as we know it and from this…
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