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  • 1. Labeling 1 Title: Labeling Student’s name: Institution’s name: Professor’s name: Course Code: Date:
  • 2. Labeling 2BY-LINEThis paper is originally mine and has not been presented by any other person in this institution orany other institution.AbstractThis paper generally discusses about labeling as a social problem and the controversies thatsurrounds it. The main objective is to find out the existing claims and claims making, the role ofthe media and experts in addressing the issue, public relations and policy making in relation tothe theory and the policy outcomes in addressing the issue. Labeling has led to controversialdebates among critics. Some view it as a tool to bring about social change in the society whileothers view it as a stigmatizing tool to various groups in the society. Labeling has triggered thedevelopment of policies that are friendly to the consumers such as policies addressing issues ofproduct labeling country of origin so as to minimize misleading information from getting acrossthe public and also creating of films and tapes labels to make consumers aware of the source ofthe material. Labeling has also enabled the change of ways in which health professional handletheir clients by avoiding the use of terms that may affect their treatment.
  • 3. Labeling 3Introduction Labeling theory is basically concerned with individual’s identity and behaviors that maybe determined or influenced by the existing terms that are used to classify or describe them.Labeling has become a social issue due to various reasons. According to Hastak & Mazis,sometimes consumers of a particular product are always mislead due to a particular label on theproducts they do consume(2011, p.157). Dermer et.al. , points out that, the terminologies usedto label and identify discrimination, oppression and sexual prejudice has led to negative impactson the way lesbians and gay men are viewed by the society at large (2010,p.325). In addition tothat, the use of negative labels to alcohol and other drug addicts has resulted to the existingprofessional tensions in addressing the problems of stigma alongside shame manifestations. The use of psychiatric labels can be beneficialor be harmful to a community even thoughthere have been controversial debates over the issue for a coupleof decades (Wright et.al. 2007,p.2444). It has been argued that, labeling always sets up expectations of extraordinary behaviorsthat are always fulfilled by individuals and it has been proved useful for early detection of mentaldisorders(which often requires labeling) thus enabling an individual to get treatment before itbecomes a burden. Given the existing confusion generated among the public and media concerning thelabeling theory, the purpose of these paper is therefore to bring the reason for the controversiesthat exists concerning the labeling theory and also check on the role of the media and the publicconcerning the issue and the policies that have been generated to address the issue so as to bringharmony amongst various groups.
  • 4. Labeling 4Claims and claim makers The public policy researchers have been using the consumer behavior theory to come upwith predictions on consumer response to information’s that are misleading. Marketers of aparticular product often makes claims on product labels or advertisement that are logically truebut misleading because an important fact or material has been omitted completely from the label.For example, a marketer may decide not to include limiting conditions that may be of help in theaccurate interpretation of a particular claim. Moreover, without efficient qualifications, consumerwill tend to depend on the appearance of the product or previous experiences to draw theirinferences. In order to work and advocate effectively for gay men, lesbians and their families, anindividual has to be aware of their existing relational and societal forces that often have negativeimpacts on them. Therefore one has to focus on the terminologies that are used to identify andlabel oppression, sexual prejudice and discrimination.For along period of time, homophobia hasbeen a term used to describe the alienated and disenfranchised group (lesbians and gay men.). Asa matter of fact, those who have been stigmatizing homosexuality view it as individual’spathology arising from problems in development of psychosexual, sinful lifestyle or abuse. Thelabel resulted to creation of fear about homosexuality which eventually opened the doors tooppressions that focused on sexual orientation which later triggered the creation of movementamongst the mental health professionals whose main objectives was to normalize orientationsthat were non-heterosexual. Even though the label was created to stir up irrational fear on gaymen and lesbian,the word expanded to include even the sexual minorities such as thetransgender,bisexuals, intersexindividuals thus creating negative impact on them as peoplestarted questioning about their gender identity or sexuality.
  • 5. Labeling 5 The alienation and isolation manifestation of shame among the alcohol and other drugabuse clients has resulted due to professional tensions that have been explored in three themesnamely; Use of labels that negatively impact on the clients such as” addicts “and” junkies”, theimpact of stigmatization and labeling on service production and the stigmatization of the alcoholand other drugs (AOD) client settings. These often pose a barrier to the potential treatment andcounseling of clients in the AOD setting. In addition, rather than having a forum whereby clientsnegotiate their own perspective of their use of drug, statements from participants alwaysdemonstrate ways through which AOD settings can establish labels that identifies clients assober citizens or addicts. This cause of action is limiting as it does not allow complex discussionsthat are characterized by working alliances that are therapeutic. The use of psychiatric labeling has been found to be useful in the community for manydecades as it helps in the early recognition of mental disorders that result into treatment beforethe situation gets worse. There exist benefits of treating mental disorders early enough especiallyamong the adolescents and young adults as lack of recognition of the disorder result in delayedaid seeking. In addition to that, it may result to noncompliance or concordance when assistancehas been sough thus leading to the utilization of inappropriate methods e.g. use of alcohol andother drugs. Correct labeling of the mental disorders is an extremely important part of the mentalhealth literacy as it involves the beliefs and knowledge about mental disorders thus helping intheir recognition, prevention and management. In order to improve mental health literacy,various strategies have been put in place such as carrying out of campaigns to improve oncommunity awareness, use of school based interventions and the application of the mental firstaid. The main aim of these strategies is to improve the recognition of mental disorders throughlabeling and therefore facilitate the appropriate help seeking by patients.
  • 6. Labeling 6 The use of labeling theory has been effectively in controlling behaviors that are againstthe community values and beliefs. For example the label adultery may be taken as a violation ofan official rule and might be criminalized depending on the status of an individual such asmarried, religion and morality within a community setting. However in western countries, it isnot a crime to conduct adultery but attaching the label adultery may create some unfortunateconsequences though not severe unlike in Islamic countries where adultery is considered a crimeand those involved pay for it dearly.Role of Media and Experts in addressing labeling Labeling of the source of video news release (VNR) is an important and ethical decisionthat can be made by the media companies (Nelson, 2008, p.231). However, people argue that theavailability of the knowledge leads to the decrease in effectiveness of the VNRs as people will beaware of its public relations tactics. When VNRs stories are produced and aired in the media,they resemble new true stories a fact that is not true, because the stories have been produced onthe client’s behalf in order for the media station to gain free airtime. VNRs main task is to offercontent information, however they have been labeled as a soft-sell an approach to marketingcommunications. This is because they do not identify their sponsoring companies or organizationand their products and logos do not often appear inconspicuously in the news segment. The public relations professionals in conjunction with news organizations are on the forefront to help the public in understanding the contexts of the messages through identification ofthe sources and origins of the new messages since media literacy in the public domain is veryhigh. Majority of the consumers are often naive as they do not understand much on how news areproduced , even that talk shows and not broadcast news and the editorial pages need to be
  • 7. Labeling 7opinioned (Nelson, 2008, p.232). Currently the publics have realized the importance of sourcedisclosure. Thus the TV Guide editors pointed out that,those viewers who are informed about thesource of news they read or view are not vulnerable to potentially misleading or persuasivemessages. In addition to that , they recommended that whenever a news organization TVincludes a tape or film that has been produced by the outside source in the broadcast, shouldinclude a label such as “Video supplied by………………..” displayed on the screen. The Public Relation Society of America(PRSA, 2004,p.21), declares that the use offootage or VNRs that are source provided rather than providing the network or station , shouldbe taken into consideration when being aired by media outlets. In addition to that the code ofethics designed by the Radio-Television News Director (RTNDA, 2000) pointed out thatprofessional electronic journalists should unfold clearly the source of information provided to thepublic and also ensure that all materials from the outside are labeled.Public relation and policy making The country-of-origin product labeling has always provided an important clue toconsumers about a product attributes such as durability, reliability and quality. However,majority of these labeling have been utilized to misinform consumers about the originality andcontent of the products. In order to curd this behavior, various countries have reacted by creatingstandards that are mandatory when labeling the country of origin in the product. This has beenachieved through the availability of legislations related to health and food standards, marketcompetitions and consumer protection. For example in the U.S, the Farm Bill formed in 2002required that livestock and agricultural products should contain information touching on country-of –origin (Saunders, 2010, p.1474). The impact of globalization has made it impossible to
  • 8. Labeling 8clearly label the products, as some contents in the product come from all over the world. Toaddress this challenge, countries have come up with policies on the utilization of the label whilesome manufacturers of a product or company generate their own labeling policy that isdifferentiated from others. The Federation Communications Commission (FCC) sponsorship hascreated rules that do not necessitate mandatory labeling of VNR Company sponsored. The ruleshighlight that; the sponsorship is only required when VNR relates to controversial publicimportant issues and political matter and issues touching on station broadcast. A disclosure ofinformation always affects viewers’ attitude.Social problems wok and policies outcomeThe policies generated as a result of labeling has led to the increase in knowledge on productsand information used by consumers. For example the use of country-of-origin labeling has beenimportant to consumers as they are able to determine the economic value of the productespecially for those high technology products. Besides that, the health professionals have beenable to understand the stigmatization that comes along with the use of particular labels to theclients hence the adjustment to use labels that are friendly and also the professional counselorshave gone a milestone a head in understanding oppression and therefore developedtheir culturalawareness thus promoting social justice and advocating for the elimination of prejudice and biasand the struggle against unintentional or intentional discrimination of the sexual minorities henceadvocating for their overall wellness.From the interviews conducted on the impacts of shame on alcohol and other drug settings clientcounseling, it was clear from that shame and stigmatization were the obstacles to counseling ofpatients. The findings also indicated that shame was compounded by the stigma of using the
  • 9. Labeling 9drugs and negative labels associated with them such as Junkie or addicts. From the secondinterview carried out on the importance of labeling video news release, I established that theviewers are able to be transformed from being relatively naïve to learning more about VNRssponsored companies thus altering the way they perceive VNR segments from pure news tocommercial contents that are greater.SummaryFrom the above discussions it has been established by various claim makers that labeling hasbeen a tool used to improve or destroy the existing relations in the public domain. For examplethe use of various labels among the alcohol and other drug settings (DOD) has led tostigmatization of the clients seeking medical attention thus affecting their counseling program .Inaddition to that the sexual minorities have been discriminated in the society as they are goingagainst the values and norm of a particular setting thus making them to fill oppressed anddiscriminated. However labeling has been found to be useful in the treatment of mental disordersas labeling has enabled the detection of particular mental disorder leading to early treatment byindividuals. Labeling has also helped transform deviant behaviors such as adultery and criminalactivities as people fear the consequences that come along with them. It has also been found tobe useful in media coverage as the labeling of programs and professional electronic journalsenables consumers to come up with valid decisions when in need to consume a particularproduct.The social problem (Labeling), is being addressed and people have understood the impact ofusing certain labels to address a particular issue and are changing accordingly. From the study of
  • 10. Labeling 10the labeling theory, I have been able to clearly understand the impact a label can cause tosomeone hence being conscious on the labels that I use in my daily endeavors.
  • 11. Labeling 11BibliographyAnnemarie, Wright, Anthony,F., Jorm, Meredith, G., Harris,Patrick, D., McGorry.(2007). what’sin a name? Is accurate recognition and labelling of mental disorders by young people associatedwith betterhelp-seeking and treatment preferences? Journal of PsychiatryEpidemiol, 42,244–250.Manoj, Hastak &Michael, B.,Mazis. (2011). Deception by implication: A typology of truthfulbut misleading advertising and labeling claims.Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 30 (2), 157–167.Michelle, R., Nelson. (2008). Social utility theory: Guiding labelingof VNRs as ethical and effective public relations. Journal of Public Relations Research, 20, 231–249.Public Relations Society of America. (2004). PRSA’s stand on VNRs. Public Relations Tactics, 11(7),21.Radio–Television News Directors Association. (2000, September 14). Code of ethics and professionalconduct. Retrieved 15November 2011, from http://rtnda.org/ethics/coe.shtmShannon, B., Dermer, Shannon,D., Smith, & Korenna, K.,Barto.(2010). Identifyingandcorrectlylabeling sexual prejudice, discrimination,and oppression.Journal of Counseling & Development, 88,325-331.Stephen, G.,Saunders. (2010).Consumer-generated media and product labeling: designed in California assembled in China.International Journal of Consumer Studies ISSN,1470-6423.