According to the interactionist view, the defi- nition of crime reflects the preferences and opinions of people who hold social power in a particular legal jurisdiction. These people use their influence to impose their defi- nition of right and wrong on the rest of the population. They maintain their power by stigmatizing or labeling people who fall outside their definition of right and wrong. Criminals therefore are individuals that society labels as outcasts or deviants because they have violated social rules. In a classic statement, sociologist Howard Becker ar- gued, “The deviant is one to whom that label has successfully been applied;


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