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Labelling Deviant Behaviour: Its sociological implications


Much of the roots of social role valorisation theory lies in this work. While it is a theoretical piece, the author's arguments and the structure of the book are very clear. The author analyses what is known as the 'labelling approach' to deviance. This approach says that the way a person feels about themselves and their behaviour depends significantly upon how others respond to them. The approach therefore focuses on society rather than the characteristics of an individual (this is the basis, for example, of the social definition, rather than the medical definition, of disability). A person is not inherently deviant. Rather, deviance is created by rules and laws, by interactions with organisations and agents of social control. The author examines the actual and potential criticisms of this approach, the ways labelling manifests itself (e.g stereotyping) and how organisations create deviance. Keyword: Theory

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Schur, Edwin
Harper and Row, New York
Publication Date
1 January 1971
United States

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