Examining Deviance And Labeling Crime Concepts Criminology Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

"Deviance is a less precise concept than crime: deviance means any behaviour that differs from the normal (Marsh et al, 2009:556)." Some people engage in deviant and are not considered as a deviant by the society: they may not find them guilty or they may not be caught at it. On the other hand, somehow it is possible that someone is innocent of committing deviant behaviour and still regards as a deviant: one may falsely accused of deviance and can be punished for doing uncertain things (Goode, 1984:54). The biggest question how do people become classified s as deviant? What types of behaviour will be considered as an offensive and the people who commit them. Approximately, all of us have committed seriously deviant acts in our lives. Some of us continuously doing it throughout their lives. But some are cast into the role of being a deviant. Mostly deviance is committed in private or in secret. Some are caught and labelled but other are not caught. All people who are labelled as a deviant have enacted conventional behaviour most of the time (Goode, 1984:54). "All such behaviours have common these negative societal reactions that serve to crystallize moral indignation for the public, in whose interest various control agents act, and for rule violators, who are the target of that indignation (Suchar, 1978:166)". In this essay three major ways that a person can become a deviant will be discussed and different types of deviant will be explained.

There are three major ways that a person can become a deviant. Firstly, public label describe that often sometime deviant have committed some over-reacted acts - name, deviant behaviour that leads to a stage in which people pin point label on them. But it is not necessary that person can be deviant because of their thoughts or beliefs and be publicly labelled as a deviant (Goode, 1984:56). In some cases, label comes about a types of fashion trend that it don`t have any relation at all with one`s behaviour. To attract a deviant label means that others people usually conventional people look upon one as a immoral and undesirable character are reacts towards that person in a manner that indicates their disapproval. A person who is thought by other to be immoral is also a deviant and who do disgraceful works (Goode, 1984:57). "a deviant, by the public label criterion, is someone who has been successful stigmatized by others, whose very being has being defined as undesirable, whose character has been discredited (Goode,1984:54)." Secondly, the public level is a type of deviant which is fascinating and instructive that whether it is based on actual behaviour or not. Thus, it is a process of the `dramatization of evil` (Tannenbaum, 1938: 19-20). "Most people who commit behaviour that earn for the perpetrator a discrediting label of deviant never actually became cast into such a public role (Goode, 1984:56)." For instance, Homosexuality is seen as a deviant by the straight people. If someone admits that he or she is a homosexual then it would be seen by the most of the people that it belong to a group that practices morally undesirable behaviour and that person is labelled as a morally undesirable person. A deviant can be also a person who sees that himself or herself that belong to a category of people that are labelled as immoral and undesirable and are public scorn (Goode, 1984:56-57). Thirdly, `the peer definition` means in which one may also defined by other member of that larger social universe as a member of it. However, it is possible that many people who practice a form of deviant behaviour or other people who just associated with others who do or don`t see themselves as belong to that category of people that are covered by label and that also applies to them. For instance, people who practices homosexuality behaviour and people who are interact with the member of gay or bisexual community have still not accepting themselves as a gay. (Goode,1984:56-57).

There are "two dimensions of engaging in conformist versus deviant behaviour and being perceived or labelled s a deviant versus being perceived as being conventional or non-deviant produces (Goode, 1984:57)." There are three different types of individuals with the respect to deviance. Firstly, `the pure deviants` are those who both commit deviance and publicly labelled for doing that. They are murderer who caught, arrested and imprisoned (Becker, 1963:19-20). Simply we need to look at the process of "from deviance to deviant (Becker, 1963:19-20)." We need to look at the distinguish between the individual who commit deviance behaviour and is labelled as a deviant and the individual who commit the deviance behaviour but never labelled? Although, there is one important fact is that whether deviance behaviour is visible or not. However this activities can be enacted in privacy or in secret and don`t have consequences that can be detected or caught by the public. For instance, there are many deviant that practices illegal drug sale and sexual practices. But kidnapping and murder are usually caught and detected by the police with the help of witnesses and punished the criminal. Kidnapping and murder are more highly visible acts compare to other acts. People who practices the alcoholisms there visibility varies according to the different activities in which drinker is engaged but for many drinker alcoholism is very difficult to hide (Goode, 1984:57-59). There are more chances of visibility then there is more chances for the individuals who engage will be labelled as a deviant. Second factor, that is closely related to the process of being a individual labelled as a deviant is whether the person appearance and everyday are somehow look like deviance then conventional people may see him as a deviant but they are not deviant. It is a process by which conventional people label some people but not other as a deviant, it's given that both have committed act of deviance (Steffenmeier, terry.,1973:417-426). When conventional people see other people taking part in certain related kind of activity which are deviance then they make "a screening, coding and reading process of classification and conceptualization take place (Goode,1984:57- 61)." If two people do the same thing does not mean that they get put in the same mental category. Secondly, `the falsely accused` is a type of deviant in which some people do not commit the deviant behaviour of which they are accused and labelled by public. For instance, a well known actor Warren Finnerty, whose "magnificent portrayal of desperate junkie (in the play, The connection) (Brown, Kenneth, 1975:87)." Hence, it was "so believable that people ran from the theatre horrified. He was once actually arrested after a performance and taken to a local precinct. He was released when no tracks were found on his hand (Brown, Kenneth, 1975:87)." Finnerty was arrested of being practices a type of deviant, a heroin addict, but did not perform that acts and labelled. The accusation made by powerful conventional, is not necessary stick. One individual does or doesn`t became a deviant in the absence of having committed deviance behaviour depends on several numbers of factors. The `falsely accused` is also in fact a deviant. When someone if publicly labelled and treated as a accused even if the individual did or didn`t commit the behaviour then we have "an true deviant on our hands (Goode,1984:57- 61)." "The falsely accused deviant is, by the criterion of public stigmatization, no less a deviant than the individual who is correctly perceived to have committed deviant behaviour (Goode,1984:57- 61)." Labelling contain only one type of ingredient in its drama of deviance, it is very important. We should not assume that falsely accused is a type same like the pure conventional. The labelling plays an important role that cannot be ignored. Finally, `the secret deviant` is a type of deviance in which most of the individuals who engaged in behaviour that is unacceptable by the society and they are never publicly labelled. Most of the people who enact in deviance behaviour in privacy, never noticed by the public and hence, they are not labelled as deviant. For instance, political crime, etc (Goode,1984:57- 61). In certain case if we were restricted from the public label then there are not commit any deviance behaviour, no label, no deviance. "since this excludes must people and activities from our attention, it becomes necessary to ask the question of the actor`s perception of his or her behaviour (Goode,1984:57- 61)."

In conclusion there are three major types of way that a "person became deviant: first, by publicly labelled; secondly, through self- designated identification with a group or category that is widely thought to be deviant and third, as a consequences of being defined by others (Goode, 1984:55)." It can be noted from the above that it is the society that sometimes plays a vital role in deviant behaviour. It encourages deviant behaviour as sometimes a person may be labelled falsely and he then actually tends to indulge in deviant behaviour. There are people who are pure deviant but are not caught and they tend to promote deviant behaviour in the society.