Discovering disorder: young people and delinquency
Discovering disorder: young people and delinquency

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Discovering disorder: young people and delinquency

3.7 Summary

This section has explored how sociologists have studied the social reactions to disorderly behaviour, beginning from Becker’s view that ‘deviance’ is not an intrinsic property of an act, but a label applied to it. This view enables the study of how:

  • some behaviours (and some types of people) come to be defined and labelled as deviant
  • the media play a role in defining deviance and creating social anxiety or moral panics about some types of behaviour (and some types of people)
  • agencies of social control (the police and the criminal justice system) may act in ways that concentrate on some types of people rather than others
  • crime and the fear of crime may play a significant role in politics, including as a displacement of other problems and crises.
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