Labeling Theory Definition Example Essays

Labeling Theory and Its Specific

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This in turn more often than not leads the stigmatized to acquire more and more deviant and possibly criminal identities (Lanier & Henry, 1998).

There can, of course, be other antecedents prior to labeling that can enhance the process of delinquency in juveniles. Mental and/or psychological impairments must also be considered as a contributing factor. Certain of these attributes can also contribute to highly suggestible levels in regards to behavior and allow socially sensitive entities to be easily swayed by stigma and stereotype.

Such deficits in neuropsychological functioning, such as self-control (especially impulse control), may serve to maintain antisocial behaviour throughout life. In contrast... antisocial behaviour that emerges during adolescence is, on this account, the result of an individual reaching biological maturity prior to reaching social maturity (where he or she has legal access to such liberties to consume alcohol, and operate a motor vehicle). (Carroll, Hemingway, Bower, Ashman, Houghton…… [Read More]


Adams, M.S., Robertson, C.T., Gray-Ray, P., & Ray, M.C. (2003). Labeling and Delinquency. Adolescence, 38(149), 171-177.

Barlow, H.D. (Ed.). (1995). Crime and Public Policy: Putting Theory to Work. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Bartusch, D.J., & Matsueda, R.L. (1996). Gender, Reflected Appraisals, and Labeling: A Cross-Group Test of an Interactionist Theory of Delinquency. Social Forces, 75(1), 145-176.

Braithwaite, J. (1995). 11 Reintegrative Shaming, Republicanism, and Policy. In Crime and Public Policy: Putting Theory to Work, Barlow, H.D. (Ed.) (pp. 191-205). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Essay on Labeling Theory

578 Words3 Pages

The Labeling Theory is the view that labels people are given affect their own and others’ perception of them, thus channeling their behavior either into deviance or into conformity. Labels can be positive and/or negative, but I’ll focus on the negative aspects of labeling in high school. Everybody has a label in high school whether it is the “slut”, “pothead”, “freak” or the “jock”; it is one of the most apparent time periods in which individuals get labeled. Students have the mentality that whatever label is placed on them is going to be stuck with them forever, which then leads into a self-fulfilling prophecy. This, I feel, is a fear of being a “loser” that has been instilled throughout years by the principals, teachers, etc. An example…show more content…

She’ll eventually accept it or have the mentality of “they see me as this, why not become this”, then she’ll have fulfilled the prophecy. This label might stay with her past high school, but I think that depends on the way she presents herself to different groups of people, if seen or labeled differently by another group she would probably conform to this as well. Another common label used is “geek” or “nerd”. This label can be taken in both a positive or negative way but mostly seen as a negative label in high school. This seems to demonstrate that when a student exhibits intelligence they are then labeled as “geeks” or “nerds”. This label group seems to be affiliated to harassment by other groups mainly “jocks”. This harassment of intelligent people can lead to the desire of being ignorant in order to become more accepted. This is shown by the media through movies, and shows “geeks” and “nerds” as being weak. When people are seen as different, or have different views, opinion, or even dress, outside of the norms presented in school or any environment, they are segregated by society by placing labels, which creates “outsiders”. This labeling shows how society fears differences in opinions and then demonizes the people with different views, and this is seen in everyday American society. A great way to summarize the labeling theory and self-fulfilling prophecy, is by a quote by Tannenbaum ”the process of making the criminal is therefore the process of

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