Posts Tagged ‘labelling’

More Crime and Deviance Pages

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Crime pages from the University of Portsmouth archive. This set provides notes and activities focused on theories of crime that are generally suitable for a-level sociology (and criminology) students.

When I first started posting these crime resources I had to link directly to each page in a module because the menu that I was convinced bound everything neatly together was “missing” (in the sense “I couldn’t initially work out where it was hiding” rather than it having disappeared, never to be seen again).

This, as you may have discovered, was a bit of a pain and not conducive to encouraging students to explore the pages on offer.

I knew, however, there had to be a menu somewhere and that it was just a matter of finding it. And, after a bit of detective work, I did.

At least for some of the individual chapters.

While I still think there is an overall menu somewhere that provides easy access to all the materials in the complete “crime resource”, I haven’t been able to find it; so for now it’s a case of using the individual links for the various categories I have managed to find.

The first batch of modules / pages linked here mainly relate to theories of crime and deviance (some of which I’ve already posted as individual pages, but since I can’t remember which I decided to post them all).


Crime and Deviance: Non-Sociological vs Labelling Approaches

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

I came across this “Approaches to Crime and Deviance” PowerPoint the other day while searching through an old hard drive (the metadata says I created it in 2003 and although that sounds about right in terms of the look-and-feel of the Presentation it may actually have been created a little later, not that this makes much difference to anything) and thought it might be interesting to show it the light of day in case anyone finds it useful.

In this respect it’s basically a 3-screen presentation that looks at:

1. Non-sociological approaches using a “6 things you might need to know” format.

2. Labelling approaches using a similar format.

3. Understanding crime and deviance as relative concepts by asking students to find examples of the same behaviour considered as deviant / non-deviant at different times (historical dimension) and places (cross-cultural dimension).

I’m guessing it was originally intended to be an Introductory presentation of some description, possibly for the old OCR Specification that required students to look at both sociological and non-sociological approaches.

If you don’t need to consider non-sociological approaches you can still use the presentation as both an Introduction to Labelling and as a starter activity designed to get students thinking about crime and deviance as relative concepts through the use of simple comparative examples.

More Crime and Deviance Learning Tables

Friday, December 8th, 2017

A few days ago I did a post on Learning Tables that noted, in passing, that although the numbering system used suggested at least 14 Tables had been created for crime and deviance, I’d only managed to find 10.

After a bit of detective work (which sounds a bit mysterious and a touch glamourous until you realise it merely involved typing different combinations of key words into Google until it eventually came up with something useful) I managed to find two more:

right realism
crime and locality.

In the course of wandering semi-aimlessly around some of the lesser-travelled highways and byways of the web, however, I came across a range of similar-looking Learning Tables that, on closer inspection of the metadata, seemed to be by different authors (although to make matters even more confusing, Miss Elles was credited as the author of some of the newer Tables that looked very similar to the Tables I’d previously posted. The former were, however, unnumbered).

Although I’ve got little idea what might have been going-on here (maybe the Tables were the result of a collaboration between teachers / the outcome of different teachers in the same school producing slightly different Tables / someone seeing the original format and deciding to produce similar-looking Tables?) I think that whoever authored the materials (THeaton, Miss Elles, Miss G Banton and a couple of anons) they’re worth distributing to a wider audience.

If you have a look at the original post you’ll see some of the Tables listed below are duplicated – at least in terms of their title, if not necessarily their content. In this respect, you pays your money (so to speak) and you makes your choice as to whether you want to download and compare both sets where they occur (as with labelling, for example). Otherwise, here’s another Big Bundle of Learning Tables to distribute to your students or inspire them to create their own:

Global, green and state crime
Labelling theory
Crime and the Media
Left and right realism
Punishment and prevention

Learning Tables: Crime and Deviance

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

We’ve just started filming for a new series of crime and deviance films (the long-awaited follow-up volume to our original Shortcuts to Crime and Deviance films – a welcome change to be creating sociology films after 3 years spent focusing on psychology films – and in the process of searching for Robert Agnew pics (one of the films examines Strain Theory, both Merton’s original formulation and Agnew’s General Strain Theory developments) I came across some interesting examples of “Learning Tables” and decided to spend a bit of time looking into the idea (“research is research”, after all. And also because I can).

I’m assuming they were originally designed to be a form of revision exercise or as a way of condensing notes and observations about a particular topic (the examples I originally found were all for crime and deviance) but since the author information is, at best, sketchy I’ve no real way of knowing – or acknowledging the original authors in any meaningful way.

Be that as it may, the basic idea behind the tables is a relatively simple one: information across a range of themes (basic ideas, evaluation, synoptic links…) is condensed to fit an A4 sized table format.


Sociological Theories And Frameworks

Monday, November 13th, 2017

This is a web page where you can find a bite-sized run-down of a range of:

a. Sociological frameworks – from those fairly central to a-level, such as Functionalism, Feminism. Conflict theory, Critical theory and those (symbolic interaction, phenomenology) that tend to be a little more optional.

b. Sociological theories – some fairly central ones, such as labelling and strain theory and some that are more-specialised, such as disengagement theory.

Labelling Theory

The information included for each framework or theory varies – some, such as Functionalism, are just given a brief introduction and general overview while others are covered in much greater detail. Labelling theory, for example, is given:

1. A short general introduction.
2. A brief outline of its origins.
3. A more-detailed overview of its content
4. A selection of key texts
5. A short evaluation.

You might find that some frameworks, such as critical theory,  probably go quite a bit beyond a-level so it’s probably best to review each of the frameworks / theories before you let your students loose on them (as I’ve demonstrated you can link directly to any of the frameworks / theories you think might be useful for your students).

In addition, the hosting website carries an interesting range of other sociological topics – from general stuff such as What is Sociology, through key concepts such as gender, to Units such as Crime and Deviance.

When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?

Friday, November 10th, 2017

I chanced across this blog post from the Smithsonian Institution of all places and it struck me as something that could be useful as a way of getting students to think about all kinds of sociological stuff – from gender and identity, through the role of the media to more-abstract ideas about childhood, invented traditions and the like.

It’s also useful if you want to illustrate the counter-intuitive nature of some sociology – not only the idea that particular cultures associate certain colours (and toys and characteristics and behaviours…) with specific genders but also that this association is fairly arbitrary (which may or may not be useful for labelling theory).

The idea of “Blue for boys and Pink for girls”, for example, is an association created around 100 years ago – only originally it was “Pink for boys and Blue for girls”. The current association – one that completely reversed “commonly accepted gender norms” – only emerged in the 1940’s…

The article also notes how the different styles of gendered clothing – skirts for girls and trousers for boys – that currently garners much discussion in the age of “back-to-basics” Academy Schools – have evolved over the past 150 years.

Further Reading

All of the following generally riff off the theme of the Smithsonian post, but I think each adds something to it, either by filling-in some of the references or expanding upon the general idea:

The Surprisingly Recent Time Period When Boys Wore Pink, Girls Wore Blue, and Both Wore Dresses

The pink vs blue gender myth

Kids Believe Gender Stereotypes by Age 10, Global Study Finds

Pink wasn’t always for girls

14 | Youth: Part 3

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

One area of social life in which the relationship between youth and specific types of behaviour is particularly clear is that of offending behaviour. Young people – principally young, working class, men – are hugely over-represented in the crime statistics and since this series of chapters is linked by ideas about Youth Culture and Subculture it would be useful to explore the relationship between Youth and Deviance in more detail.

In order to do this the chapter is divided into three main sections:

Firstly, an outline of a range of key concepts – the distinction between crime and deviance, how we define youth, how we measure crime, moral panics, deviancy amplification and the like – that can be applied to this area of social life.

Secondly, a section that outlines the evidence, in terms of patterns and trends, about the nature and extent of youth deviance. This section is further subdivided according to social class, gender and ethnicity.

Finally, it looks at how different sociological approaches – in this instance Functionalist, Marxist and Interactionist – explain the patterns and trends in youth deviance outlined in part 2.

While the chapter is specifically aimed at the OCR Youth Culture Unit it’s one that should have general application for any Specification that looks at the nature of crime and deviance in terms of patterns and trends in offending behaviour and how these might be sociologically explained.

12 | Youth: Part 1

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

It’s probably fair to say the topic of Youth is one of the roads less travelled when it comes to a-level sociology, but I always found it an interesting area to teach / study, particularly because it also links neatly with a couple of the more popular a-level Units in education and deviance.

This initial chapter covers key concepts and the social construction of youth and is largely a definitional one that lays the ground for looking at ideas about youth cultures / subcultures in more detail in later chapters (hard to believe, I know, but there was a certain logic at work here) and it covers:

• The social construction of youth
• The concept of youth culture
• The concept of youth subcultures (both spectacular and mundane…).

The content is aimed specifically at OCR Sociology but there may be bits-and-pieces on areas like education and deviance that apply to other Specifications.

NotAFactsheet: More Deviance

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Three new NotAFactsheets to add to your growing collection covering:

1. Interactionism (labelling theory, personal and social identities, master labels)
2. Deviancy Amplification (an outline of the model plus the role of the media)
3. Critical Theory (Instrumental and Hegemonic Marxism, Critical Subcultures)

Each NotaFactsheet is available in two flavours: with and without short (1 or 2 minute) embedded video clips:

D4. Interactionism | Interactionism with short video clip 

D5. Deviancy Amplification | Deviancy Amplification with short video clip 

D6. Critical Theory | Critical Theory with short video clip

School Climate: A different dimension to differential educational achievement?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

The relationship between social class – or socio-economic status (SES) if you prefer – and differential educational achievement is well-known at A-level and students are expected to discuss and evaluate a range of possible factors / explanations for this relationship; these are usually grouped, largely for theoretical convenience, into “outside school” and “inside school” factors, each involving a range of material and cultural factors. The latter, for example, conventionally include things like:

  • Type of School (private, grammar, comprehensive…)
  • Teacher Attitudes that involve ideas about labelling and self-fulfilling prophecies
  • Ability grouping – practices such as streaming, setting and banding.
  • Social inclusion / exclusion – for example, physical exclusion / suspension as well as self-exclusion (truancy).
  • Pro-and-anti school subcultures.

  • Although each of these is arguably significant, they reflect a rather piecemeal approach to explaining educational achievement differences, particularly those of social class.

    One way of pulling some – if not necessarily all – of these strands together is through the concept of school climate; this encompasses a range of material and cultural organisational factors focused on “the school” that, proponents argue, foster academic achievement.


    Crime, Deviance and Labelling

    Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

    The Guardian: Smash the mafia elite: we should treat offshore wealth as terrorist finance

    Aside from the issues it raises about globalisation, social class and social inequality, this article is also useful as a contemporary example of labelling theory. How, for example, the label attached to something, such as “taxation” and “welfare benefits”, changes both our perception of – and behaviour towards – it.


    The Great Chocolate Bar Controversy

    Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

    Simulations are a good way to involve students in thinking about sociological ideas and issues and this particular online simulation focuses on labelling theory as it relates to crime and deviance. (although it can also be used to get students to reflect on different research methods – particularly interviews and observations).

    The Saints and the Roughnecks: labelling and self-fulfilling prophecies

    Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

    William Chambliss’ (1973) seminal essay about two rival high school gangs is rightly seen as a contemporary classic that explores, over a few short pages, the consequences of labelling processes and the development of self-fulfilling prophecies.

    While it’s a useful primary resource for A-level discussions about the perceived relationship between class, age, gender, ethnicity and deviance it also serves as a context-piece for more contemporary examples of this phenomenon that students can research and explore – such as Keene State College in America or, closer to home, the behaviour portrayed in The Riot Club – a film based on the activities of Oxford University’s Bullingdon Club.