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Labeling

  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

Labeling, or the labeling perspective, is a conceptual approach to understanding deviant behavior which directs attention away from the behavior per se to the social reaction that such activity generates. The approach, which came to prominence in the 1960s, is most commonly associated with the work of interactionist sociologists such as Howard Becker, Kai Erikson, Aaron Cicourel, and Edwin Lemert. The roots of the labeling perspective can, however, be found in the earlier writings of the criminologist Frank ...

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