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Labeling "Theory" Societal Reaction . Deviance is not an inherent quality of an act. Edwin Lemert, Social Pathology (1951). Deviance is relative Across cultures/societies Within cultures across time Across situations . Context: 1960's . Baby Boom (“the pig in the python”)

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labeling theory societal reaction

Labeling "Theory" Societal Reaction

Deviance is not an inherent quality of an act

edwin lemert social pathology 1951
Edwin Lemert, Social Pathology (1951)
  • Deviance is relative
    • Across cultures/societies
    • Within cultures across time
    • Across situations
context 1960 s
Context: 1960's
  • Baby Boom (“the pig in the python”)
  • Anti-authoritarian, “anti-institutional” mood
    • Vietnam
    • Civil Rights
three general approaches
Three General Approaches
  • Variations in and historical developments of deviant labels
  • The application of the label of deviant in different times and places
  • The consequences of the label
theoretical foundations
Theoretical Foundations
  • Symbolic interaction (Weber, Mead, Blumer)
    • W.I. Thomas: “what we define as real is real in its consequences”
    • we mutually define one another's actions and act on the basis of those definitions
    • Focus on the definitional process
      • Both between labeler and labeled
      • And historical process
foundations symbolic interaction cont d
Foundations, Symbolic Interaction (cont’d)
  • Definitions of Actions
    • Why do some come to be labeled as deviant?
  • Moral Entrepreneurs (Howard Becker)
    • Create categories of deviance
    • Have some stake in creating the category
foundations symbolic interaction cont d15
Foundations, Symbolic Interaction (cont’d)
  • Master Status (Becker)
    • Social positions that outweigh other positions a person hold
      • Race
      • Gender
      • Ethnicity
      • Profession
  • Deviance as a Master Status
foundations symbolic interaction cont d16
Foundations, Symbolic Interaction (cont’d)
  • Secondary Deviance (Ed Lemert)
    • Versus primary deviance
    • Once labeled, the person internalizes the deviant self-image
    • Organizes identity
foundations symbolic interaction cont d17
Foundations, Symbolic Interaction (cont’d)
  • Stigma (Erving Goffman)
    • “Spoiled Social Identity”
      • Based on actions (or physical appearance)
      • Prevents Positive “Impression Management”
      • “Courtesy Stigma”
foundations phenomenology
Foundations, Phenomenology
  • Phenomenology (Alfred Schutz)
    • Typifications
      • Experience filtered through already-existing categories
      • "recipe knowledge“
      • Assigning meaning to action
foundations phenomenology cont d
Foundations, Phenomenology (cont’d)
  • Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann (The Social Construction of Reality)
    • Arnold Gehlen: humans must make a world they can inhabit
      • instinctual deprivation
      • extended dependency
phenomenology cont d
Phenomenology (cont’d)
  • Berger & Luckmann: how is social reality constructed?
    • Externalization
    • Objectivation
    • Internalization
    • Reification