Dissecting Criminal Labelling Theory Howard Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Thus, even "victimless" deviant activities are regulated through various methods of formal and informal control. The deviancy ascribed to Brenda's teen pregnancy, for example, stems largely from the way she challenges the norms regarding sexual behavior. Conflict theorists believe that laws and norms do not reflect values of society as a whole, but only of the dominant segment.

Similarly, it could be said that Brenda's drug habit is a victimless crime. If she pursues reasonable precautions, such as avoiding driving and staying in a private place, her drug use does not differ much from smoking or alcohol consumption. However, since drug use is frowned upon by the social elite, Brenda is seen as a criminal.

Feminist theory

Similar to conflict and Marxist theories, feminist theorists see much social inequity in society.

This social inequity is one that divides the sexes. Early on in Brenda's life, the loss of job of her father meant that the family had to make do with the mother's wages. Although they both worked in the same factory, it is far more likely that her mother earned less - a probably reason why it was the father who was let go.

Many of the jobs open to Brenda were minimum wage jobs that made it difficult for her to provide for her child.

Statistics have shown that women without high school diplomas were often limited to low-paying jobs in the service industry.

For men, there are jobs that would pay higher, such as construction work. However, many of these higher-paying jobs would not consider female applicants. These difficulties would therefore make it more tempting for women in Brenda's position to engage in criminal behavior.

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