The interactionist theory doesn’t presume lawbreakers are dissimilar from those who are law biding citizens

The interactionist theory doesn’t presume lawbreakers are dissimilar from those who are law biding citizens. They propose the majority of people perpetrate deviance and criminal acts, however only a small minority are captured and labelled as disgraceful. They suggest the priority ought to be put on understanding the response and meaning of deviance as opposed to the reasons for the initial act. Howard Becker approach to the labelling theory was, “Deviancy is not a quality of the act a person commits but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an ‘offender’. Deviant behaviour is behaviour that people so label. (Becker, 2014). Becker’s opinion was the moment a label was allocated to an individual it might then largely define and shape a person’s position within society as deviant, resulting in a deviant career to follow.
The British crime survey statistics inform us that, in 2013/2014 it was acknowledged that increased numbers of stop and searches were carried out on black ethnicities, four and half times more than the white ethnicity. Mixed ethnicity being twice as likely and Asian ethnicity one and a half times more likely for stop and searches. As a consequence, more black and mixed group arrests took place than any other ethnicity group. In comparison to other ethnicity group, the black and mixed ethnic groups arrest rates per 1,000 individuals were nearly three and two times higher. This would also explain why rates of prosecution and sentencing relating to the black ethnic group were three times higher compared to the white group. It is disputed that the above results are biased, and police officers are presuming the black community are more likely to offend than other groups and therefore reinforcing the labels. The interactionist approach perceives that crime and deviance is socially developed by agencies of social control. The media is a forceful agency of social control which contribute to the perception of crime. The labelling theory is hard to prove as we do not know how deviant the individual was before there label. Some acts will constantly be refereed to as deviant whether they are labelled or not such as murder. A criticism of the labelling theory is they are seen be ignoring the origin of the deviance.

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