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Posted: February 9th, 2023

Labelling theory

Labelling theory
Watch the video on “labeling” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHSvZZ1pnm0&feature=youtu.be

Write an essay that addresses each of the following areas:

1. Describe an experience where YOU were the person labeled. OR, describe someone you know who has a label (slow, weird, wild, etc.) and if you believe their label plays a role in their conduct.

2. Discuss how the stigma of the label of “criminal” makes people think of themselves?

3. Visit https://bantheboxcampaign.org/ and summarize the movement. Offer your opinion on the Ban the Box effort.
Labelling theory
Labelling people in the society is a common thing. This is mainly associated with the crime sociology and deviance. Once you started labelling someone as deviant it can prompt to deviant behavior and it can make others to treat that persons with a lot of negativity and the final response of the victim is to behave more negatively (Bernburg). A good example of this deviance is that at times we fight friends or even any other person and in the process of self-defense I end up injuring the victim. If by bad luck that person succumbed to injuries, the society will react to death differently depending on the cultural values and norms since some will label me “hero “while others will label me “murderer” or “killer”. I will be viewed a criminal without putting into consideration the circumstances that lead to that death and this deviant label will have long term consequences for my social life. This different ways of interpretation of criminality can either be primary deviance whereby the violation of societal norms doesn’t destroy my self-image or secondary deviance where my self-concept if totally affected by the deviant label given.
Once am labelled as murderer I will develop a master status by identifying myself as one since it will be difficult for them to remove that label in their minds. This status will contribute to stigmatization and can lead to fulfillment of the label expectations since it easier to accept the label that to fight over it.
In conclusion, once labeled as deviant e.g. drug addict, murderer or any other ex-criminal it will be difficult to win trust and you will be treated with a lot of suspicion in the society. This will deny you access to various opportunities like employment, housing etc.

Bernburg, Jón G. “Labeling Theory.” Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research, 2009, pp. 187-207.
Douglas, K. M., van Prooijen, J. W., & Sutton, R. M. (2022). Is the label ‘conspiracy theory’a cause or a consequence of disbelief in alternative narratives?. British Journal of Psychology, 113(3), 575-590.
Gussak, D., Odom, E., & Soape, E. (2023). Interacting through art to re-empower prison inmates in constructing new self-appraisals. In Using Art for Social Transformation (pp. 94-106). Routledge.

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