What are the strengths of the labelling theory?

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If you are talking about Beckers labelling theory or social reaction theory, it has quite a few strengths. It essentially says that negative labelling of individuals or even entire social groups can affect self identity and therefore behaviour. Basically saying that self fulfilling prophecies are true. If you label someone a criminal, they will be a criminal, if you label someone a thug, they will act like a thug, etc etc. This is a very strong ideology in sociology and criminology. It is an offshoot of sorts of phenomenology, and it is a theory used by those who support recidivism or rehabilitation. Basically it supports the labelling theory and goes further to say that it can have a negative effect on the individual or social group, long-term label may cause prejudice against the offender, resulting in the inability to rehabilitate, maintain employment and social relationships etc. Therefore, this directly influences policy towards the penal system. Also you should read more into ... more
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