Does stigmatizing wrongdoers cause more injury than good? Discuss

In the survey of aberrant behavior, sociologists have explored the effects of society’s perceptual experiences on perverts in a school of thought popularly known as ‘Interactionism’ . Deviant behavior, explained from this position, is more a consequence of how society trades with the aberrant person, instead than a consequence of the individual’s alone features or background. The labelling theory put away by interactionists, therefore argues that an offender’s pervert ways is non due to his or her ain aberrance but due to the external stigma faced by the person.

This essay will reason that stigmatizing wrongdoers causes more harm than good for the undermentioned grounds. First, stigmatizing wrongdoers can take to re piquing. Second, stigmatizing can impact the self-pride of an wrongdoer. Third, stigmatizing can besides ensue in the unintended effect of doing emphasis and societal isolation for the household of the wrongdoers. Fourthly, this essay will discourse and farther rebut the thought of stigma moving as hindrance to offense. Last, stigma will impede an wrongdoer from rhenium integration and lending back to the society.

This essay will foreground society’s influence in the apprehension and portraiture of aberrance and will discourse the effect of this on rule- breakage persons. Furthermore, it will include illustrations and assorted sociological theories to warrant the impacts of stigmatizing wrongdoers. The definition of stigma used in this essay would be that of Goffman’s ( 1963 ) who defines stigma as ‘the state of affairs of the person who is disqualified from full societal acceptance.’

Merton ( 1948 ) introduced the construct of the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ . This begins with a false construct of the state of affairs arousing a new behavior doing the original false construct come true. ( Merton, 1948 ) This can be used to explicate how society stigmatizing wrongdoers can do more injury than good as the stigma can ensue in a self-fulfilling prognostication being created by the wrongdoers. Where an person has committed a aberrant act, they will be stigmatised and cut off from ‘participation in more conventional groups’ . ( Becker 1963 ) . Becker attributes the farther development of aberrant behavior to the stigma faced by the person which therefore consequences in the individual’s inability to take an ‘ordinary modus operandi life’ . The person is farther given an ‘outsider’ position. When this occurs, the single internalises the thought of him or her being a pervert. This will impel the person to move deviantly to upkeep society’s stigma of him ensuing in secondary aberrance. The secondary aberrance therefore causes more harm than good as it will merely ensue in the reoffending of an wrongdoer.

It can therefore be derived from the above that self-fulfilling prognostication which originates from stigma will ensue in rhenium offending, therefore doing more harm than good.

This is apparent in the UK with respects to the Anti-Social Behaviour Orders ( ASBOs ) . ASBOs are intended to protect the populace from anti-social behavior that is likely to do torment, hurt or dismay. In 2013 nevertheless, it was found that 73 % of the wrongdoers had breached their orders. A possible account for wrongdoers who had breached their orders could hold acted in this manner to conform to society’s outlooks of them by unconsciously following the self-fulfilling prognostication. This therefore causes more harm than good as it has besides resulted in wrongdoers sing ASBOs as a ‘badge of honour’ . ( Squires and Stephan, 2005 ) therefore populating up to society’s outlooks of them.

Stigmatizing wrongdoers can besides do more injury than good as it can take to the ‘dramatization of evil’ ( Tannenbaum, 1938 ) . This can hold potentially permanent deductions on the behavior in kids, therefore doing more harm than good. The procedure of dramatisation of evil involves the displacement from an act being defined as immorality to the single going seen as immorality. For illustration when a kid has committed a condemnable act he or she will be separated from other kids and will so will be tagged. This immorality is so farther dramatized by handling the person the manner society thinks the person should be treated. The person is recognised as being different from others who are considered ‘normal’ . Tannenbaum ( 1938 ) describes this procedure one of “tagging, specifying, placing, segregating, depicting, stressing, doing witting and self-conscious.”

This inaccurate label that stigma can enforce on an single consequences in the societal exclusion of the person. This cause more injury than good because the wrongdoer will now tie in himself with other perverts ( Heimer and Matsueda, 1992 ) and this could farther take to deviance elaboration ( Lermert, 1967 )

Recently, Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance ( IPNA ) measure was the topic of argument, with the House of Lords rejecting this measure. The purpose of the measure was to replace ASBOs. The IPNA in my sentiment, is a contemplation of ‘dramatisation of evil’ as, it can ensue in many retiring juveniles being caught by it which can trip the possibility of the juveniles seen as delinquent instead than the act entirely. This will therefore do more injury than good. It should besides non be passed as this could take to kids being considered wrongdoers for junior-grade offenses. This will engender a new coevals wrongdoers from such a immature age.

Stigmatizing wrongdoers can ensue in a deficiency of self-pride in wrongdoers. This is explained by symbolic interactionism. The symbolic interactionist position holds that the stigma faced by wrongdoers would impact the manner they perceive themselves and this in bend will impact their hereafter behavior ( Blumer, 1969 ) , doing more injury than good. Cooley ( 1922 ) states that one’s perceptual experience is formed through the “looking glass self” .

An single therefore will determine their self-concepts based on their apprehensions of how they are being perceived. With respects to wrongdoers their self perceptual experience and regard is therefore based on what is reflected of them in society. An wrongdoer will therefore hold a low ego regard as what is reflected of them is likely to be hapless. This reflects how important society’s perceptual experiences of wrongdoers are as it can cut down the offender’s esteem where they are negatively perceived. Having a low self-pride will ensue in the failure of the wrongdoer to travel past his errors.

However, it is impossible to wholly fault society for an individual’s actions at the terminal of the twenty-four hours. Perverts are non ever ‘thrust’ with the label of wrongdoers. Wrongdoers could hold actively seeked the label be fall ining certain groups. ( Ackers, 2007 ) Besides, Lemert ( 1967 ) argues that wrongdoers who have committed secondary Acts of the Apostless of aberrance do non needfully perpetrate offenses merely because of the stigma they face. There are cases where wrongdoers are able to brush off the stigma, and in other cases even become unmindful to the stigma.

These restrictions of the labelling theory can be overcome …… .

The thought of whether stigma discourages piquing behavior and therefore Acts of the Apostless as disincentive to offense, has so been a combative issue. ( Williams and Hawkins, 1992 ; Tittle, 1980 ; Grasmick and Bursik, 1990 ; Zimring and Hawkins, 1973 ; Andeneas, 1974 ; Nagin and Paternoster, 1994 ) . Becker ( 1955 ) in his survey ; Marijuana Use and Social Control ; observed that the stigma attached to marijuana users as ‘unproductive criminals’ Acts of the Apostless as a hindrance to persons who intend on utilizing the drug. This is supported by the observations of Cohen, who noted that there are certain functions which people actively resist, such as the label of alcoholic or drug nut. Cohen observes that people would avoid subjective designation with these negative labels even when they have been identified with them, seeking to restrict the visibleness of these functions or to underscore that these are secondary features of their sense of ego. Similarly, stigmatizing wrongdoers, can work as a hindrance as possible first clip wrongdoers would non desire to be labelled or stigmatised. The certainty of stigma derived from penalty of a offense deters an wrongdoer more than the badness of the penalty. ( Nagin, 1998 ) . From an economic position point, a cardinal advantage of stigma is that it is a hindrance with no cost involved. ( Rasmussen, 1996 ) This could therefore reflect the benefits that stigmatizing wrongdoers has.

Whilst stigma acts as a hindrance and therefore causes more harm than good, it besides has some restrictions. First, where the stigma is immense, and the wrongdoer has no manner of concealing it or casting it, the stigma will be counterproductive to disincentive and will alternatively magnify the offender’s misconduct. Second, research has besides shown the stigma might hold small consequence of already stigmatised ex-convicts, and can possible drive the ex-convict to perpetrate more offenses ( Funk, 2004 ) .

Having taken into history the advantages of stigma being a hindrance to offense, and the bounds to this, this essay argues that whilst stigmatizing wrongdoers is good as it helps to discourage possible new wrongdoers from perpetrating offense to avoid the stigma that other wrongdoers already face.

Wrongdoers are non the lone 1s to confront the stigma and the possible effects of it. Stigma besides has wide effects on their households who suffer emphasis from stigma and besides perchance societal isolation. This particularly holds true for the households of wrongdoers in prison, where the stigma is borne by a host of non-offenders as good. ( Thompson, 2008 ) Where the households of captives come from countries that are ‘disproportionately victimized by crime’ , the stigma they face is a batch greater. Children of serious wrongdoers suffer secondary stigma, which is related to the thought of ‘contamination’ . ( Condry, R. and Boswell and Wedge ) Condry states that this stigma could be long lasting and serious. 3

It has been established that the stigma society holds of wrongdoers have a important impact on their support and their abilities to re integrate into society. This is proven by the failure of ‘disintegrative shaming’ which is adopted by many states which will do an wrongdoer still feel like a condemnable, and prevent him from rhenium incorporating into society. Mc Alinden ( 2005, 2007 ) argues that disintegrative shaming stigmatises wrongdoers which therefore consequences in the banishment from their several communities. This in bend may ensue in force directed towards the wrongdoers. This was apparent in the barbarous murders of two sex wrongdoers in Maine in 2006, where the references were obtained via the sex register. This sparked argument in the US as to whether an on-line sex register ( and therefore dishonoring the sex wrongdoer ) was necessary. Furthermore, this signifier of disintegrative shaming will impede an offender’s employment chances and re-entry into the community.

This cognition has contributed to an alternate method of battling certain aberrant behavior, such as juvenile delinquency, known as ‘Reintegrative Shaming’ . This method has been analysed by Braithwaite and Mugford. Central to this procedure is the disapprobation of the pervert act, while reintegrating the person into regular society. A conference is conducted between the pervert, the victim and the deviant’s household, with a impersonal coordinator. The pervert is forced to hear the victim’s side of the narrative, and is shamed in forepart of his household. He is given the chance to apologize and is in bend forgiven, therefore reintegrated into society. ( McAlinded, 2005, Makkai and Braithwaite 1994 ) . Braithwaite notes that the most of import elements for this method to work are that the histrion and the act must be decoupled, so that it is the act which is criticized, non the histrion. Petrunik ( 2002: 56 ) that re integrative shaming allows a sex wrongdoer to ‘redeem’ himself/ herself whilst under the examination of the community concerned. Braithwaite identifies Japan as a state with much lower offense rates because the communitarian values that are upheld in Japan enable rheniums integrative shaming to be successfully applied. Further illustrations of successful rhenium integrative shaming would include New Zealand where juvenile delinquency is dealt with by household group conferencing. Re integrative shaming will besides let the wrongdoer to lend to society, ( Braithwaite, 1989, McAlinden 2005 ) .

It must be noted that re integrative shaming should non be seen as a softer option to conventional penalties as it can besides be degrading and hurtful.

There are nevertheless certain defects to re integrative shaming. They are that both the victim and the wrongdoers have to be present. McAliden finds that where the engagement of wrongdoers is forced upon them, the programme is futile. Where wrongdoers voluntarily involve themselves, the programme is more effectual. ( McIvor 1992 ; McLaren 1992 ; McGuire 1995 ) . Furthermore, coercing victims to take part could take to victimization and disempowerment. Furthermore, the procedure is frequently met with contention, peculiarly with ‘gendered and sexualised violence’ . ( Hudson, 2002 ) .

“Disintegrative shaming” on the other manus, labels and stigmatises wrongdoers, ostracises them from the local community and may ensue in force directed towards wrongdoers. Mc Alinden ( 2005, pg 380 ) , in support of Braithwaite’s disintegrative shaming patterns in the signifier of coercive condemnable justness responses will non discourage wrongdoers, protect victims or do important decreases in recidivism degrees except in the short term. The difference between reintegrative and disintegrative shaming is non in the quality of the shaming, but in its purpose and in the procedures that follow.

However, my position is that such a procedure shows the pervert that he is no longer ostracised by other members of society. After the apology, he is forgiven by all, including the victim. This eliminates the sense of disaffection which was identified before as the cardinal cause for elaboration of the aberrant behavior. However this procedure may non work good for culprits of serious offenses or for grownups, who may non be as unfastened to such a procedure as juveniles.