Monster: Sociology and Fellow Gang Members

Topics: Sociology, Criminology, Labeling theory Pages: 4 (1407 words) Published: February 15, 2012
In this research paper, I will discuss how the book Monster applies to Labeling Theory. This theory show how youth accepts the negative labels society gives them and as a result the youth creates a new negative identity. It also shows how labels are a product of a series of events and do not occur over night. An individual become attached to the labels society gives until this appear to be a way for them. These labels become a form of security and protection. Labels most time takes place of their original identity. The paragraph below will talk about this theory in three parts. Section one will include definitions of original source. Section two will include examples from the book and how it ties to labeling theory. Section three will discuss the career path that is a result of the new negative identity. Section one of my paper will discuss the definitions of labeling theory and deviance. Labeling theory was developed by Howard S. Becker and Edwin Lemert. By accepting negative identities this produces deviant behavior. Labeling theory or social reaction theory is defined as “posits that society creates deviance through a system of social control agencies that designate (label) certain individuals as delinquent, thereby stigmatizing youths and encouraging them to accept this negative personal identity” (Siegel & Welsh 2009:155). Delinquent acts or deviant behavior are not considered wrong because of the individual but it’s considered wrong because society has deemed them as being out of social norms. Deviance is defined as “acts that break the break social rules or norms” (Becker: 1963:03). Deviant behavior is acts that are norm violations and labels the individual as an outsider. Merton made a profound statement regarding deviant behavior, he says that society set goals which create strain which lead to deviant behavior. Becker considers deviant behavior a pathological, revealing the presence of a disease (Becker 1963: 05). What the Becker is saying is that...
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