The second theory concerning deviance in sociology is the ‘labeling theory’. This theory proposes that people live up to their reputation and the labels that are given to them. If a person commits a certain act that is deviant in their childhood or adolescence he or she is at the risk of being labeled a deviant or a trouble maker.
Once this person gets labeled a particular thing he or she will most probably live up to it. For example, if a person is labeled a bully or a trouble maker early on in their life and the same title is reinforced upon him by people he or she knows then he or she will be more prone to acting accordingly. A bully might end up being a bully because people have labeled him a bully and he succumbs to his reputation. (Leblanc, 1998) In the same way if an alcohol abuser gets labeled a ‘boozie’ or an ‘alcoholic’ and the same label is reinforced upon him or her negatively it is going to be even harder for the substance abuser to break away from the habit. The labeling theory and the control theory explain why people deviate from norms and partake in drug and alcohol abuse.
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