Howard Becker’s labeling theory starts off by identifying the deviant. Once you get caught doing something, you are identified and labeled for it; it can either be formal as labeled under the law or informal as in labeled with in family and friends. For example, I had two very good friends in high school, Serafin and Brian. They were best buds and always did everything together. Like many teenagers in high school they started to experiment with drugs. Like every other day they would both go smoke weed and get high in the alley afterschool. No one ever walked through the alley unless you were doing drugs or something but that day the police were roaming around the block because a robber had broke into someone’s house, Serafin and Brian happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. The cops drove through the alley and had seen both of them smoking, their first reaction was to run but where? When there wasn’t anywhere to run, it was a dead end. So they quickly jumped tried to jump the fence while Brian jumped the fence successfully and got to runaway, Serafin wasn’t so fortunate and ended up getting his pants stuck to the fence. As soon as Serafin got arrested he was immediately identified and labeled. As for Brian he didn’t get caught and never got labeled even though he was there and performing the same deviant actions as Serafin.
Once Serafin had got arrested he had to face and go through the sanctions, the consequences. It wasn’t the first time he had got caught doing something deviant. Serafin kind of always got away with things at school because he was such an excellent student academically, except this time he didn’t get caught on school grounds and he was facing two months of juvenile hall and six months on house arrest isolated. Being left isolated, he started to interact with other deviants that committed crimes like his or even worse. Serafin was brain washed and influenced by the wrong people that only lead him to other additional behavior....
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