Labelling theory refers to the idea that deviance can be understood by considering not only the deviant act or the deviant individual himself or herself but also the role played by the creation and application of norms, the judicial system, and other forms of social control in defining an act or an individual as deviant. Labelling theory denotes the theoretical contributions made by diverse scholars of the sociology of deviance and is more properly considered to be a theoretical perspective or approach to deviance.

According to labelling theory, the mass media are part of the process by which an individual or group is labelled deviant because they make available to different and vast audiences the expectations promoted by norms, the judicial system, and other forms of ...

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