Labeling Theory in Criminology

Labeling theory is known in a lot of sense. It has been tagged as symbolic interaction and social construction. From the time of Tannenbaum (1938), Lemert (1951) up to Becker (1963), the labeling theory has been described as the dramatization of evil and the description of the concept of self. Other scholars, however, argue that the labeling theory is just a scapegoat to cover up the crimes committed by individuals labeled as deviants.

Law practitioners might even argue that deviance is not an exception to the law since ignorance to the law is not an excuse at all. In addition, the labeling theory explains the aging out of crime in the sense that criminals-to-be know that there is a probable escape to the crime they will commit and that provokes them to continue with the crime. More so, revisionists criticize the labeling theory because it is an alleged rejection of the law.

If, indeed, deviance is a psychological disorder, it is sufficient enough that it is the start of crime’s coming of age because the labeled deviants are not able to control the urge to commit even simple crimes such as shop lifting, robbery and gang violence. The criminology discipline can possibly locate the evolution of crime relation to the labeling theory through a thorough study about deviance in the disciple of psychology and its legal implications to the society.