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Labeling theory Tannenbaum originally came up with this theory in 1938 in 1951 Lemert elaborated on it and Becker took it on in 1963 Deviant behavior is not violating a norm its having people believe youre violating a norm The focus of the Labeling Theory is mainly on the reaction to deviance rather than the deviance itself Why do we care It is the process of labeling someone deviant why people think something is okay for one person and not another It mainly focuses on soft deviance Rule-breaking is behavior that breaks a rule but isnt considered deviant unless someone else says it is The behavior could be considered deviant depending on who catches it Primary deviance is the point where a person is actually labeled It doesnt matter if they are deviant or not they are labeled deviant because certain people believe it to be so Secondary deviance is when the person actually accepts the label and continues the behavior which can lead to what may be called a deviant career However if the behavior stops it is not secondary deviance If someone is continually accused of being deviant when they are not they may become that way Someone who doesnt get caught when they keep exhibiting rule-breaking behavior may continue it Can turn someone into a liar by continually accusing them of lying The theory focuses on these three factors 1Who labels this usually involves power numbers status and authority For instance people may believe a police officer over an average person 2Who gets labeled usually people with low power status authority minorities and of course someone who is already considered deviant 3Consequences for labeled person negative For the labeler it may be positive if label sticks and they may even gain from it Once a person has a label put on them it may stay with that person forever The labeling theory works well to explain alcohol
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