Interaction Theories of Deviance
– blue eyes vs brown eyes – lesson in discrimination
(Jane Elliott created categories of deviance)
For all the other theories we have talked about:
Deviance happens firs that leads to ----> social control
For Labelling theory:
Basic control (when you label deviance or deviant acts) ----> leads to deviance.
Prior to this it was common to label deviance as norm violation. It was absolute and inherent in the
individual. They ignored those who created categories of deviance. Ignores the observers of deviance.
– deviance is socially constructed
Social reaction to an individual will produce deviance
– labelling has to do with societal reaction to particular behaviour, and the subsequent reaction of
the labelee to the label
– labelling someone or some behaviour as deviant is a process involving, interpretation, meaning
and the attribution of deviance.
Interpretation – influences how we react to a situation. Based on our stand point cultural settings and
the characteristic of those involved.
All of these factors influence the future events. Influence further outcomes and interpretation. That is
why it is a process.
All of which are based on social meaning. Meaning on people. On acts. This is the basis of how we
create identities for people and how they behave. (meaning of blue eyes and brown eyes – influenced
behaviour, how the individuals were viewed, and how people created the identities of those who were
Creating identities – this is attribution of deviance. When you attribute characteristics to people based
on a label.
Deviance from this perspective is a human creation, - emerges from interaction and meaning and
becomes real and effects events all the time. Influences our world view.
In our culture we get messages all the time about what is deviant.
Foundation: Symbolic Inte