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Final- labeling - Term Paper Example

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In other words, norms are not rules of what is right, but rather those of what a particular society considers to be right and moral. Also a person may be labeled even if he personally does not break any norms but simply happens to be a member of a group that is regarded to have a propensity for a certain kind of behavior. For example, Indians may be labeled as lazy and alcoholic by white society because culturally they are not used to set work times and some feel alienated and drink excessively out of despair. This behavior may not apply to every Indian but because of the actions of some the group becomes labeled and stereotyped
Labeling theory postulates that deviant and/or criminal behavior is the result of a self fulfilling prophecy. In other words, people labeled as criminals, substance abusers or engaged in other activities violating dominant society’s norms eventually self identify as such, become more heavily involved in these activities and may even associate with others with similar propensities to form sub cultures. While I would agree this is true in many cases, this process by no means explains all criminal behavior. For example, people may be engaged in white collar crime such as conversion for years without being discovered let alone labeled. Nevertheless, a group of juveniles may band together and form a gang because of being labeled “good for nothing” by their parents, teachers, police, etc. For various reasons they may not feel comfortable in their traditional home and school environments, such as being subject to physical and psychological abuse, academic standards too high or too low for their abilities, discrimination due to sexual orientation and lack positive role models ( Hargreaves et al Labeling ) Feeling unable to comply with societies’ demands, they may lose self respect or reject the norms imposed on them. I don’t agree, ...Show more
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Summary

Labels are sociological constructs whereby groups characterize other groups and/or individuals whose behavior deviates from their particular norms Hamlin Labeling) For example the dominant members of society such…
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