Components of Becker's Labeling Theory and Its Effects

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Running head: Labeling Theory.

Labeling theory and its effects to the society
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Abstract
Labeling theory is a theory that tries to explain the effects of “labeling” by the society on an individual. It shows that: by labeling an individual for example as insane, that could mark the beginning of the process of him being insane. It is therefore important for society to be careful on the labels that they give to individuals because of the effects that are likely to come with this “labels”. This paper is going to look into the components of labeling theory and its effects.

Labeling Theory
Labeling theory looks at the influence that the society has on the development of a certain behavior by an individual because of the society’s perception of him/her. The way an individual has been described and categorized by the public can greatly affect the behavior of the said individual. It also brings out the linguistic tendency of the majority in society to label those who are perceived to be minority or with behaviors different from the rest, negative labels. According to this theory, the stigmatizing or negative labels given to these individuals have a significant effect on them such that some of the individuals may proceed to being deviant (Becker, 1964). An example is an individual who is perceived to be a drug addict. Even if the drugs do not affects his professional life, when individuals whom they work with come to know that they use drugs, they may start avoiding and associating them with all other crimes that are done by drug addicts. Because of this stigmatization, the individual may end up loosing the job and could not be able to secure a decent job in any other place. This will leave him with no other option other than involving in crime for survival, something which he could not have gotten himself in...
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