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SOC 2700
C Yule

March 12 , 2013 Social Reaction (Labelling Theories) Cont’d Reintegrative Shaming (Braithwaite) -2 types of shaming -disintegrative or stigmatic shaming -most familiar with this -reaction that serves to weaken the moral bonds between the offender and the community -goal or effect of this is setting the offender apart as an outcast -offender is expected to commit more crime -labelling or grouping them as outcasts, general feeling that these individuals cannot be trusted to obey the law, etc. -we’re shunning the offender for good from society -fairly permanent in it’s effect -this type creates this class about casts -more and more entrenched in the criminal lifestyle -ex. criminal records (major hindrance for your entire life), offender registries, etc. -reintegrative shaming -strengthens the moral bonds between the offender and the community -condemn crime, not the criminal -provide offenders with the opportunity to re-join their community as law-abiding citizens -status degradation ceremonies—degrading someone’s status -don’t have many ceremonies where one can exit the deviant role -responding to crime could actually be useful, move them towards conformity -ex. healing circles, victim-offender mediation (but victim could be subject to revictimization, could just be a ploy to avoid jail time) -book: Crime, Shame and Reintegration Criticisms of Labelling Theory -did a very good job bringing attention to the issue of social reaction -moving the focus away from the individual attributes and focus on society -over-emphasis on importance of the label -the role the label has in determining future outcomes -ignores characteristics of the person -is the label more important than a persons background? -some people become deeply involved in crime before they are labelled by the CJS -labelling theories struggle to explain this -disregards the actual behaviour of the deviant -assumes that being labelled is enough to set someone on a course of offending -research doesn’t really support this, deviant label is neither necessary nor sufficient for a deviant career -whose reactions matter? -not a clear sense how reactions from different groups affect future offending (i.e. parents and teachers vs. friends and siblings) -what reaction counts? -what is it that pushes someone from primary deviance to secondary deviance? -is it public scrutiny, is it getting caught? -what type of reaction is the most detrimental? -difficult to test -hard to conceptualize exactly what a deviant label means -difficult to falsify -we see a relationship between being labelled and crime, but it’s hard to disentangle this label from other factors in the persons life, like their friends -good post-hoc analysis Conflict Theories **Donald Black m/c exam (from the text) Conflict Theory and Crime -focusing specifically on significant power imbalances between groups in society -laws and regulations are weapons used by one group -deviance and crime are weapons used by another group -law operates as a weapon of social control used to protect the interests of the ruling class/state -like labelling theory, interested in the way criminal acts are responded to by social agents (not the act itself) 1. rules are made by the powerful to regulate the conduct of the powerless a. prohibiting begging for example b. egalitarian in its formation, everyone is forbidden from doing it, but not egalitarian in its impact (not everyone needs to panhandle) 2. rules preserve the preferred way of life for the powerful even when it is harmful to others, or forces them into criminal roles a. who gains from a particular law? Trace the path back, goes back to those with societal power 3. people who break the rules do so either out of need or in protest against a system that oppresses them a. ex. sleeping under a bridge (no other option), or have shelter options available but they are dissatisfied with the rules and structures of the shelters so they seemingly
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