What are the Effects of Labelling? Crime and Deviance Sociology
Snippet form Video
Labelling theory is also examining the effects of labelling. For example Lemert (1972) states that by labelling certain people as deviant, society actually encourages them to become more deviant.
Lemert’s primary and secondary deviance
Edwin Lemert (1951) distinguishes between primary and secondary deviance.
- Deviant acts that have not been publicly labelled.
- They can have many causes and are often trivial and mostly go uncaught.
- Those individuals that commit them do not see themselves as deviant and can easily rationalise them away.
- Primary deviance has little significance for the person’s self-concept or status.
- This is deviance that has been labelled and is a result from societal reaction i.e. from labelling
labelling an individual as an offender can involve stigmatising, humiliating and excluding them from normal society.
- Once an individual has been given a label, others may see the offender only in the terms of that label.
- This becomes the person’s master status or controlling identity – overriding all others.
This A-Level sociology video explores concepts such as deviancy amplification, master status, labelling, self-fulfilling prophecy, moral entrepreneurs.