Labeling "Theory" (Societal Reaction Perspective)

I. Essence = deviance is the product of a process of social definition, not an inherent quality of the act (deviance is socially constructed)

        A. 1951, Edwin Lemert, Social Pathology

                1. deviance is relative: what is considered deviant varies:

                        a. across cultures/societies

                        b. within cultures across time

                        c. across situations

II. Context: Accepted in 1960's

        A. anti-authoritarian, anti-institutional mood

                1. Vietnam

                2. Civil Rights

        B. S.R. theory fit the times

III. Theoretical Foundations

        A. symbolic interactionism (Mead, Blumer)

                1. we mutually define one another's actions and act on the basis of those definitions

                2. definitions (derive from and are based on):

                        a. moral entrepreneurs (Howard Becker)

                        b. master status (also Becker)

                        c. secondary deviance (Edwin Lemert)

                        d. stigma (Erving Goffman)

        B. Phenomenology (Alfred Schutz)

                1. typifications

                2. "recipe knowledge"

                3. Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann (The Social Construction of Reality)

                        a. Arnold Gehlen: humans must make a world they can inhabit

                                i. instinctual deprivation

                                ii. extended dependency

                        b. background & foreground

                4. Berger & Luckmann: how is social reality constructed?                       

                        a. externalization

                        b. objectivation

                        c. internalization

                        d. reification

C. Ethnomethodology: (study of the methods that people use to construct an understanding of what is taking place in a social interaction)

                1. deviance is one of these constructed understandings                 

                2. there are no meanings, there is no context, outside of the meanings of the context that we create         interactively at the moment of interaction

                3. humans interpret each situation

                4. the interpretation creates the context ("oh, we're doing this now" -- whatever "this" means)

                4. and then behave according to the interpretation we create

5. we can bring documented knowledge to bear on the situation (we have seen this behavior before)

        D. KEY: all refer to the social construction of meaning

1. behavior has no meaning until that meaning has been socially constructed

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