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AS Sociology - Labelling Theory, Moral Panics and the Media lesson 9

Howard Becker (1971), Stanley Cohen (1972)

Amanda Lane

on 22 September 2016

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Transcript of AS Sociology - Labelling Theory, Moral Panics and the Media lesson 9


What is normal?
Howard Becker (1971)
The good, the bad and the ugly...
Becker (1971) wanted to understand how we look upon and react to others. He studied how and why we react the way that we do towards people who are deviant and different.
Make a list of social groups or subcultures that are considered 'deviant' in our society?
The Theory bit.
Labelling theory focuses on the reaction of society toward deviance and difference. It is the subsequent effect of that reaction that interests Interactionist sociologists the most.
What is a 'Deviant'?
One that differs from a norm, especially a person whose behaviour and attitudes differ from accepted social standards.
Look at your deviant list from earlier. How does our society react to those in your list?
The label
When someone acts in a way that conflicts with the norms and values of a society, they are LABELLED by those with authoritative power.
The Status
People within society react to that person according to the label that has been given. People's behaviour towards that person changes.
Internalisation of label
As a result if being treated differently by people, those that have been labelled accept that they are different. They then change their behaviour to fit in with others who have been labelled as the same.
Self fulfilling prophecy!
Deviant Career
The lifestyle that is taken on by the labelled becomes more and more deviant.
The Goffman!
This theory relates to Goffman and the dramaturgical model
Some people are able to 'shake off ' their label, depending on their social status.
Can you think of any examples?
Cicourel (1976)
Parents of middle class youths who were suspected of committing a crime were more successful in negotiating with police to have their children released without charge.
The Media and Labelling Theory
Stanley Cohen (1972)
Moral Panics & Folk Devils
Moral Panics
Certain subcultures are labelled by the media as deviant. This is done through an exacerbation in the way that they are represented. This causes alarm and unrest amongst the public as their reactions are shaped by the media. Moral Panics can cause changes in public opinions, protocols and even legislation.
Folk Devils
Folk Devils are negative stereotypes that are created and distributed by the media. They target members of subcultures and are often associated with criminal or deviant behaviour.
As a result of media labelling, MEDIA AMPLIFICATION occurs. This is the process whereby over exaggeration by the media causes people to join in and create more criminal activity. Because the media over represent certain stories, it glamourises criminal activity to impressionable people.
A person or group that is blamed by the media for problems in society.
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