Crime and Deviance - Interactionist Approach
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Crime and Deviance - Interactionist Approach



Crime and Deviance - Interactionist Approach

Crime and Deviance - Interactionist Approach



Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



0 Embeds 0

No embeds


Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Crime and Deviance - Interactionist Approach Crime and Deviance - Interactionist Approach Presentation Transcript

  • Interactionists • Interactionists are interested in how people interpret and socially construct the world around them. • They are interested in how criminality develops in the social interactions between a potential deviant and the agents of social control.
  • Howard Becker (1973) • Text: “Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance” “ groups create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance, and by applying those rules to particular people and labelling them as outsiders – the deviant is one to whom that label has been successfully applied” pg. 9 View slide
  • Symbolic Interactionism / Labelling Theory • No actions are by nature criminal or deviant – it depends on the norms of the society and the reaction of members of society of society in different situations and contexts. View slide
  • Deviance • For example, consider the situations where swearing at the top of your voice would and wouldn’t be considered deviant: – In the pub with your friends – On the bus – At home alone – In class – In the supermarket – At a football match
  • Relativity • Therefore ‘normality’ and ‘deviance’ is relative • It changes according to cultural context and historical period • Deviance is therefore a matter of interpretation • Provide some examples what is considered deviance changing according to context and period
  • Howard Becker • States there is no such thing as a deviant act. • No act is inherently criminal or deviant in itself, in all situations and at all times. • An act only becomes criminal or deviant when others label it as such.
  • Labelling and Power • The social construction of deviance requires two activities: 1. One group which normally lacks power, behaves in a particular way. 2. Another group with more power, responds negatively to it and labels it as criminal. • Becker claims a powerful groups create rules or laws to define what counts as deviance and labels those who fail to conform as criminals or outlaws (outsiders)
  • Agents of Social Control • Agents of social control are made up of group such as the police, the judiciary, social workers and probation workers. • They work on behalf of the powerful groups to label and define behaviour of less powerful. • The behaviour of less powerful is subject to greater surveillance and control by these social agencies.
  • Edwin Lemert • Distinguished between primary and secondary deviance • Primary deviance is insignificant deviant acts that have not been publicly labelled. • Secondary deviance is the result of societal reaction – of labelling. • Secondary deviance leads to stigmatization where people are shunned and excluded from normal society.
  • Secondary Deviance • Lemert asserts that the criminal label can become a master status where society interprets all actions and motives within the context of the label. • Secondary deviance leads to prejudice, discrimination and produce a self-fulfilling prophecy and the labelled person may seek refuge with other people branded with a similar label. • Think of the consequences for sex offenders and ex-cons.
  • Video Clip to summarise • (Better) • (Good)
  • Evaluation • Labelling theory shows us that defining deviance is a complex process • Definitions are relative and not fixed, universal or unchangeable • Labelling theory was the first to draw attention to the consequences of being labelled deviant
  • Criticisms • Peter Ackers argues that the deviant act is more important than the societal reaction to it. Deviants don’t need a label to know they are doing wrong. • Labelling does not explain the origin of deviance. • Left Realists argue that it is wrong to blame the agencies of social control for crime and that labelling theory ignores the victims of crime.