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NCJ Number: 69354 Find in a Library
Title: LABELLING THEORY AND JUVENILE DELINQUENCY - AN ASSESSMENT OF THE EVIDENCE (FROM LABELLING OF DEVIANCE, P 271-293, 1980, BY WALTER R GOVE)
Author(s): T HIRSCHI
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE ON THE ADEQUACY OF LABELING THEORY IN EXPLAINING JUVENILE DELINQUENCY IS EVALUATED.
Abstract: THE TENETS OF LABELING THEORY ARE REVIEWED, WITH EMPHASIS ON THE ORIGINAL THEORY ESPOUSED BY FRANK TANNENBAUM IN 1938. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT, WHILE EARLY THEORISTS WERE CONCERNED PRIMARILY WITH DELINQUENCY AMPLIFICATION RESULTING FROM THE ACTION OF OFFICIALS, SUBSEQUENT RESEARCH HAD FOCUSED ON THE EXTENT TO WHICH SOCIAL REACTION IS BASED ON CONCEPTIONS OF OFFICIALS (THE DELINQUENT STEREOTYPE), AS OPPOSED TO THE BEHAVIOR OF THE CHILD (PRIMARY DEVIANCE). THREE TYPES OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY RESEARCH ARE REVIEWED: SELF-REPORT STUDIES, STUDIES OF POLICE OR OTHER OFFICIAL BIAS, AND STUDIES OF TREATMENT EFFECTS. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THE MAJOR DETERMINANT OF SOCIAL REACTION TO BE THE DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR OF THE CHILD, AND THE POTENTIAL FOR DELINQUENCY AMPLIFICATION IN THE SYSTEM TO BE LIMITED BY THE BASIC ACCURACY OF THE LABELS THE SYSTEM APPLIES. IT IS FURTHER NOTED THAT, WHEREAS LABELING THEORY WOULD PREDICT HARM FROM EXCESSIVE TREATMENT, RESEARCH SHOWS LITTLE OR NO TREATMENT EFFECT OF ANY KIND. LABELING THEORY IS SAID TO BE 'OFF THE MARK' ON ALMOST EVERY ASPECT OF DELINQUENCY IT IS ASKED TO PREDICT OR EXPLAIN, POSSIBLY BECAUSE THE THEORY HAS 'PROSPERED IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF CONTEMPT FOR THE RESULT OF CAREFUL RESEARCH.' NOTES ARE INCLUDED. A LIST OF APPROXIMATELY 40 REFERENCES IS PROVIDED. FOR RELATED ARTICLES, SEE NCJ 69352-53.
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors; Labeling theory
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69354

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