There are many views regarding human deviance, one of such is seemed by Howard S. Becker as an ‘outside’ behaviour. He shared the same view of deviance with a group of humanistic sociologists such as John Kitsuse and Kai Erikson. Deviance was interpreted as a labelling theory or should have referred as symbolic interaction theory (which was known generally to analyze the social psychology of human behaviour) Becker’s interpretation of deviance is as an ‘outsider’, who does not conform to the conventionalist norms . In order to view the labelling theory in closer detail; we shall examine the symbolic interaction theory. The theory’s belief is that human being has feeling, conscious, thinking, and is a reflective subject, thus human behaviour is not a static entity but rather a dynamic action that occurs in the fluid and ever-changing context of social interaction. An example, when people interact with one another, they ascribe certain meanings to one another’s acts, in which they can rely on those meanings to react toward one another in the future. Consequently, one’s action will lead to another’s future behaviour . Following from that, Blumer stated that ‘symbolic interaction involves interpre
Becker’s labelling theory has also drawn to a considerable criticism. One of such is that his labelling theory failed to answer the etiological question about primary deviance, for example: What causes deviance? Jack Gibbs pointed out that the theory failed to provide ample answers to three etiological questions: Why does the prevalence of a particular act vary from one population to the next? Why do some persons commit the act while others do not? Why is the act in question considered deviant and criminal in some societies but not in others? This clearly shows that labelling theory is mere humanistic-antideterministic or voluntaristic hypothesis only . Then again, recent activists of the theory beginning to shift the labelling theory into a more scientific, deterministic one, and this approach is apparent in empirical studies of the secondary deviance. Instead of describing the process of interaction between labellers and the labelled that leads to secondary deviance, these revisionists defined, operationalised or measure labelling as a causal variable of secondary deviation.
Besides that, A marihuana user is labelled to be deviant as it contravenes the rules and norms of the society. Becker researched on marihuana users and used it in supporting his labelling theory . Becker notes that this deviant behaviour is based on the given kind of behaviour as an end product of a sequence of social experiences during which the person acquires a comprehension of the meaning of the behaviour, the perceptions and judgements of objects and situations, all of which makes the activity possible and desirable. An individual will only be able to use marihuana for pleasure if he goes through a process of learning to conceive of it as an object where he is able to recognise the effects and connect them with drug use; to inhale in a way that produce real upshot; and learning to enjoy the sensation he comprehends. Once the ability to achieve enjoyment is acquired, he will continue to use it. (continuing usage of the marihuana is the secondary deviant) Considerations of morality and appropriateness, occasioned by the rejoinder of society, may hamper and impede use, but use persists to be a possibility in terms of the notion of the drug. The act will only be impossible when the ability to achieve the enjoyment is vanished, through a revolutionize of user’s conception of the drug occasioned by certain kind of experience with it. Conversely, if an unwavering form of new behaviour towards t
Some topics in this essay:
Sociology, Howard S Becker, Criminology, Symbolic Interactionism, Deviance, Frank Tannenbaum, Label, John Kitsuse, Behavior, Lemert,
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