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Lecture 1

Sociology 2267A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Labeling Theory

Course Code
SOC 2267A/B
Lisa Lyons

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Nov 19, 2019 !
Social Conflict Theories !
Edwin Lemert Primary and secondary deviation !
-Primary deviance: having been accused of committing an act but not jibe developed a
deviant identity !
If you are labelled as (e.g.) a thief (negatively) doesn’t go onto your deviant identity
immediately !
Unnoticed or neutralized by individual (easy to dismiss a one time label) !
-Secondary deviance: coming to think of oneself as deviant !
Result of being labelled — label sticks !
Ongoing labelling of somebody !
e.g. telling a girl / boy in class that they’re a trouble maker — over time will agree !
-Tertiary deviance: standing up for the right to be dierent !
e.g. a sex worker — internalized the label but stand up proudly to promote !
Howard Becker : outsiders !
-Wrote outsiders !
-Long quote about deviance and rules and ling !
-Saying deviance isn’t about the act itself but the consequence (labelling certain behaviours
as problematic and deviant) !
-“Deviant behaviour is behaviour that people so label”!
-“Whether an act is deviant, then, depends on how other people react to it” !
-“The degree to which an act will be treated as deviant depends in who commits the act and
who feels he has been harmed by it….” !
Believes that social class plays a big role and so does power !
-Types of deviant behaviour typology !
Perceived as deviant …. Not perceived as deviant ……. !
Fill this chart in (might be in previous class slides) !
-Secret deviant: commits crimes and goes unnoticed !
Nobody notices !
Those from higher social classes are more likely to get away with being a secret deviant !
-Some people may only be [ercieved as deviant for there to be real consequences (having a
label will do this) !
-Moral entrepreneurs: an individual, group of individuals,, or organization that take it upon
themselves to act as a crusader fir a specific cause, e.g. labelling a behaviour “deviant” !
e.g. church — witch craze !
Mothers against drunk driving !
Religious right — preventing same sex marriage !
-Imputation specialists !
Those who are formally charged with imputing, labelling or diagnosing deviance !
E.g. social workers, physicians, psychiatrists, media, police, lawyers, judges, teachers !
William Chambliss’ Saints and the Roughnecks !
-Interesting in how youth are labelled deviant !
-Studied two groups of high school students — first the saints (upper middle class “good
kids”), and the roughnecks (always getting in troubled and easily identifiable) !
-Interested in: Why did the community label these two groups of boys in dierent ways ? !
Both groups engaged in deviant behaviours !
Delinquent behaviours !
What he calls visibility: saints ability to remove themselves from the community through;
they had money — got in car and drove to dierent area, not visibly skipping school
(roughnecks had no access to the car — people saw them and were able to identify them) !
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