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Paper Topic:

Labeling Theory








A Greek Philosopher once made a distinction between appearance and reality . Appearance is just an imperfect form of the reality and that the reality is superior to appearance . For the Labeling Theorists however appearance is the reality . How a person appears and is perceived by the society plays a crucial role in how he sees himself how he behaves and makes decisions and how he will become in the future .Labeling Theorists claim that the only reality is the reality that

is socially constructed by individuals and institutions . It does not matter who or what a person really is as what matters most is how one is labeled by the society . For example , all people are law-breakers and habitually engage in deviant behavior . In truth , many people have tried drinking and driving at the same time . Some people have tried drugs Some people have engaged in violent behavior . Some have stolen money either from parents , friends or his company . Yet , not all persons are labeled as convicts , drug addicts , or robbers and only some are punished . It follows that only those who are caught are labeled as criminals or law-breakers and carry the shame of being labeled as such Thus , Howard Becker (1963 ) is right in saying that deviance is not a quality of the act the person commits , but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an offender

Once labeled as a criminal everything changes for...

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