Howard Becker's Seminal Work In Sociology Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Sociology Type: Essay Paper: #57962481 Related Topics: Self Fulfilling Prophecy, Labeling Theory, Ethnographic, Sociology
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Life of Howard Becker and Key Concepts of the Labeling Theory of Deviance

Criminology theory has roots in sociology and psychology, so it is not surprising to learn that Howard Becker, a sociologist, developed social reaction theory or labeling theory. Becker observed that the language used to describe the attributes or groupings of individuals can influence their behavior and impact their self-identity (Miller, et al., 2009). Labeling theory addresses the idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy and the strengthening of stereotypes as a result of the propensity of more privileged classes of people to use pejorative linguistic labels when referring to less privileged classes of people (Miller, et al., 2009).

Becker learned to play the piano at an early age, studying music and playing the piano throughout his life. He was exposed to the deviant cultures of musicians who often used drugs or smoked...

...

During the years that Becker taught Sociology at major universities, he would explore these deviant groups in-depth.

Labeling theory was developed during a period of time -- in the 1960s and 1970s -- when the terms "majorities" and "minorities" were used to distinguish between groups of people-based predominantly on ethnic, racial, or location of origin differences (Miller, et al., 2009). The counterpoint to labeling theory is the rejection of negative descriptors and categorizations and substituting these terms with positive, constructive language (Miller, et al., 2009). Undesirable pejorative terms often describe some attributes related to behavioral deviance, mental or physical disability, or mental health problems (Miller, et al., 2009).

Becker brought sociological research and theory back to its roots as ethnographic inquiry that stemmed from the work of W.I. Thomas and his famous dictum: "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences." (Thomas & Thomas, 1928, p. 572). That is to say that there is high fidelity between the perceptions people have of the world and their actions. People look for patterns and tend to apply pattern thinking to their quotidian affairs. This theoretical framework underscores the concern of social scientists that the very definitions of problems have an impact on the perceptions people have of the problems (Becker, 1997). Research that is relevant to the theory of labeling highlights the need to determine what the definitions are, and who is making the definitions of the activities observed (Becker, 1997).

Becker identified individuals from deviant groups who break the accepted rules…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Becker, H.S. (1997, March 1). Outsiders: Studies in the sociology of deviance. New York,

NY: Free Press.

Becker, H. (2005). An introduction to the Danish and Brazilian editions of Outsiders. Retrieved from http://howardsbecker.com/articles/danishintro.html

Miller, F.P., Vandome, A.F., & McBrewster, J. (2009). Labeling theory. Saarbrucken,


Cite this Document:

"Howard Becker's Seminal Work In Sociology" (2015, August 07) Retrieved December 4, 2022, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/howard-becker-seminal-work-in-sociology-2152843

"Howard Becker's Seminal Work In Sociology" 07 August 2015. Web.4 December. 2022. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/howard-becker-seminal-work-in-sociology-2152843>

"Howard Becker's Seminal Work In Sociology", 07 August 2015, Accessed.4 December. 2022,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/howard-becker-seminal-work-in-sociology-2152843

Related Documents
Deviance Historical Records Deviance Is the Violation
Words: 1411 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Sociology Paper #: 9170040

DEVIANCE Historical Records Deviance is the violation of social norms. Norms are codes of ethics that act as guidance to people on how to live their lives. According to William Somner, there are three types of norms; Folkways are what a society considers being right with regard to culture and tradition. Issues like dressing, mannerisms are in this category. Different cultures and people have their own guidelines on dressing and etiquette. Violations

Deviance Among Canadian Youths Deviation Refers to
Words: 957 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Sociology Paper #: 86389545

Deviance Among Canadian Youths Deviation refers to the violation of the acceptable norms and values that have maintained within the cultural framework of a society. Norms are very important in every society since they allow the people of a given society to coexist with one another, and create the best environment for human living. The Canadian society like other societies is guided by certain norms and values, which are useful for

Deviance Biography
Words: 676 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 15839034

Deviance Biography Susan Smith was born into a traditional, middle class family. One of five daughters, Susan displayed a higher willingness to shoulder responsibility than her siblings at a very early age, which led to her parents' turning to her, for support, very frequently. The support sought was initially in the form of household chores, and then financial, once Susan was able to work, and especially after her marriage to a

Deviance Proposition: The Main Purpose
Words: 823 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Criminal Justice Paper #: 88220652

The issue remains widely debatable, with some insisting the behavior in the jails need to be reevaluated yet some insist on the societal emphasis in curbing recidivism. The prison systems have also failed in reduction of recidivism through a failure to insist and implementation of programs that equip the inmates with the relevant and appropriate skills in lie with their interest and the environment from where they are. The offenders

Deviance and Social Control Gang
Words: 1473 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Criminal Justice Paper #: 17845961

Concomitantly, gangs such as the Crips and the Bloods were created from the former members of movements meant to increase the reputation of black individuals in the U.S. because they had diverging opinions and wanted diversity. The Crips and the Bloods can be deemed as subcultures of the pro-black movements, given the fact that the people that were once part of the larger group did not agree on certain

Deviance in Society the Sociology
Words: 2786 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Sociology Paper #: 25523926

For example, the young woman knows it is wrong because her friends have spoken to her in the past about how awful stealing is. They have seen her steal before and told her that she is wrong. Among her friends, she is known as a thief. Deviance here has less to do with self-determination than the judgment of others. It is this external judgment of the audience that acts