LabellingTheory and College Crime
LabelingTheory and College Crime
Labeling theory examines reasons why people who commit crime in thesociety are considered deviant while others are not. Labelingtheorists claim that due to the assortment of different values in thesociety, there can never be a clear definition of normal and deviantbehavior. This is because deviance is not uniform as opinions maydiffer from one individual to another (Adler& Adler, 2015).Labeling often causes destructive social responses, which may propelindividuals to future deviance. Primary deviance entails thecommission of any crime that violates a given norm, while secondarydeviance occurs when one attains a deviant social role due to theirdeviant behavior (Adler& Adler, 2015).Therefore, this paper evaluates the connection between labelingtheory and the impacts of crime on campus, and its effect on studentgrades.
Theconcept of labeling has been employed in the sociology of education,where labeling made by teachers based on students` failures orsuccess are deemed the most critical factors on one`s educationalaccomplishment and the criminal record in future (Adler& Adler, 2015).This idea can be employed in college environments too. The idea thatcollege brings together individuals from different backgrounds,religiously, economically, racially, and socially, ca result invarious imbalances. As a result, their fellows may label somestudents as deviant based on their background. This makes the beliefthat the labeling is true and thus begin to behave in a mannerconforms to their characterization (Akers,2013).
Inthat regard, the theory applies to the current study on crimebecause, to understand the impacts of crime on campus, there has tobe clarity of why the deviant individuals are treated so. Once astudent is labeled as deviant, the label may become their status, atrend that may go on even after they leave campus (Krohnet.al, 2012).Deviant college students often cause crimes around. This may have arange of impacts on the campus environment, and the learningatmosphere in general.
Thestudy topic seeks to find out the effects of crime on campus and itseffect on the performance of students. This throws light to the factthat students, who may be labeled deviant, commit campus crime.Therefore, the motivation underlying this deviance is the primarypurpose of the labeling theory. As such, the labeling theory can beapplied to campus crime and its effects to uncover the motivations ofdeviant behavior and the social practice of being labeled deviant.This is because individuals are not labeled deviant because ofviolating norms rather, the labeling occurs based on theirpersonality and character (Krohnet.al, 2012).
Labellingtheory provides the foundation for understanding the reasons behinddeviance among individuals labeled as deviant. The theory is,therefore, important in trying to understand the reasons why collegestudents engage in crime. This primary understanding of devianceprovides the justification for either labelling or not labellingindividuals as college criminals. Some versions of social theoriesexplaining crime start accounting for deviance at the point whenlabelling occurs (Tayloret.al, 2013).However, labelling theorists try to deal with the earlier stages as aperson developed deviance. In NCCU forexample, many students get involved in drug abuse, marijuana beingamong the most abused drugs.
Studentsfrom affluent backgrounds are likely to behave differently from thosethat come from poor backgrounds. Therefore, instead of labelling astudent as a criminal at the point when they are arrested forpossession of marijuana, it is important to try to understand thereasons behind the use of marijuana (Tayloret.al, 2013).This requires that we go beyond the present where the student isalready labelled as deviant, and develop an idea of who the personwas in the past. Labelling theory allows us to consider sociological,psychological and biological characteristics of an individual tounderstanding the origin of behavior (Akers,2013).
Labellingtheory gives primary focus to the reactions of the society over acertain label (Lopeset.al, 2012).As we attempt to examine the correlation between crime and studentperformance, it is important to understand the psychological impactof labeling on individual performances. The reactions among thestudent society determine the academic performances of deviantstudents. For example, students labelled as deviant may have adifficult time accessing college facilities or getting assistancefrom fellow students because of their perceived deviance (Tayloret.al, 2013).On the other hand, some deviant students may want to magnify theirlabels by identifying themselves with their deviant labels.Therefore, any form of labelling has a psychological impact on thestudents depending on the response of the society and the students tothe labels.
Deviantstudents may have trouble with their lecturers, and their labels mayaffect their relationships with the lecturers. Research shows thatpeople from the lower class are likely to be labelled as deviant(Lopeset.al, 2012).Labelling theory allows us to understand the subjectivity oflabelling by incorporating factors such as race, economic status, andreligion. NCCU has a diverse student population. Therefore, it islikely that some of the subjectivities of deviant labeling may existamong the students labeled deviant. Labelling theory, therefore,helps in understanding the individual contributions of student’scriminal behavior and stigmatization on their academic performance.
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