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Were the first to study how and why a behaviour comes to be labelled as deviant by the rest of society and what the CONSEQUENCES of the label are. These say that deviant folk are not characteristically different from the rest of the population.
No Cause to Crime
Interprevists believe there arent any universal causes to crime for sociologists to discover because its society that lists certain behaviours as deviant in the first place.
Crime is Relative
Interpretivists believe deviance and crime varies over time and place because its defined by each society e.g. Women driving in Saudi Arabia is deviant there but not in the UK
The rise of this along with new media has lead to people having moral panics over certain offences and over certain groups which increases the amount of reporting to police. Furthermore the public are more demanding on firm police action
Beckers term for your view of yourself depending on the label your given by others. i.e. if your labelled as intelligent person you then develop a positive self concept
Beckers term which refers to those who develop a deviant self concept and are rejected by society so they continue a criminal life which only makes it harder to remove deviant behaviours
When a quality of someone dominates the way they are treated or viewed, to the extent that all their other qualities are disregarded. e.g. a mentally ill person may find that all their other qualities are ignored
Researched hippies and found police highlighted their marijuana use so much that it became more significant to the hippies. And thereby the hippies increased their drug use
wrote about how mental patients after continuously received the label of becoming mad that they eventually conformed to being mentally ill. (Women, Blacks and Irish are more likely to be diagnosed as mentally ill this could discrimination meaning they are more deemed to be by doctors then they eventually conform to it)
Marxists on Interpretivists
They accuse interpretivists of ignoring that certain groups have the power to influence what is classified as criminal or socially unacceptable
Accused Interpretivists of not being interested is improving society and only be obsessed in observing "cool" deviants such as gangs
Becker's term for those who lead in labeling a particular behaviour and popularising this label in society. These individuals / groups also tend to generate moral panics. e.g. anti abortion movements and the NRA (National rifle association)
Piliavin and Briar
found that the police decisions to arrest a youth were mainly based on PHYSICAL CUES such as manner and dress and officers decisions were affected by gender, class and race.
Found that officers stereotypes of what a typical delinquent is like led them to concentrate on certain 'types'. This resulted in the police showing a class bias where more arrests were seen in working class areas
Cicourel on Probation officers
He found that probation officers were stereotyping that juvenile deliquency was caused by broken homes & poverty and therefore they assumed they would offend again in the future and were more likely to support prison sentances
distinguishes between primary and secondary deviance
Acts like drunkness or littering- everyone has done basic forms of violation. However these sorts of acts are not HARSHLY labelled and does not result in a person internalizing a deviant identity and your not considered a CRIMINAL
Causes of Primary Deviance
Lemert argues its POINTLESS to seek the causes of primary deviance since it is so widespread that it is unlikely to have a single cause as their often moments of madness e.g. dogging
Is result of societal reaction to an primary deviance because that behaviour is labelled, it often carries stigma and the crime becomes their master status overriding of all other identity. Basically its primary deviance that carries a heavier label
Self Fulfilling Prophecy
Where the individual lives up or acts out their deviant label, Lemert belives its secondary deviance and the labelling that comes with it that leads to further crimes
Downes and Rock (interpretivist criticism)
These sociologists note that we cannot predict whether someone who has been labelled will follow a deviant career as they are always free to choose not to deviate in the future
Studied reaction to mods and rockers following distubances at Clacton. He found the press amplified the events and began a moral panic. They demonised the mods which marginalised them and led to further deviant behaviour
notes an increasing tendancy to see young offenders as evil and the justice system has re-labelled status offences such as truancy as more serious offences resulting in harsher sentances
understands that negative labelling pushes some into deviant career so he believes we should enforce FEWER rules such as decriminalising soft drugs as therefore they dont get labelled and turn to criminal career
indentifies a more positive role for the labelling proccess and distinguishes two types; disintegrative and reintegrative
Where not only the crime but also the criminal is labelled as bad and the offender is excluded from society
Where the act is labelled but not the person, as if to say 'he has done a bad thing' rather than 'he is a bad person'. And therefore the label doesnt effect their life forever
Realists on Interpretivists
They argue interpretivists focus too heavily on making the offender the victim and looking at the injustice they face rather than the actual victims
Points out that the people we commonly label as deviant are also powerless. He highlights that a homeless person living in the street is more likely to be labeled deviant than an executive who embezzles funds from the company he or she runs.
Crticises both Becker and Lemert for presenting individuals as powerless to make decisions or take control of their own identity. He believes that you have to remember that deviance is often a CHOICE people make
Deviancy amplification Spiral
When the media has increasing numbers of reports on certain a crime, leading to a moral panic. Rare crimes like murder can appear common. Members of the public are motivated to keep informed on these events, leading to high readership for the stories, feeding the spiral. Judges then come under public pressure to deal out harsher sentences and politicians pass new laws to give the impression that they are dealing with the perceived threat. More convictions lead to further impression that crime is increasing.