Prosperity the new message for the African American Church
Identify and discuss the new themes in Black Religion in America. Discuss the central ideas in Native American Religion.
Labeling theory discusses the relationship between society and individuals, and the effect society has on individuals. Who decides what is criminal/delinquent? Labeling theory addresses this question, asserting that decisions of illegality are a concern of power, not morality, within those who make such definitions. Those in positions of power create the definitions and laws using their status to determine what “society” prefers in regards to norms. Within labeling theory, it is thought that these definitions and consequences are meant to induce shame upon the offender. While it has had a rather significant impact in studies of sociology and deviance, labeling theory has its weaknesses. First, it is very deterministic: if a person is labeled, that person is either destined to commit crime or destined to have fewer opportunities throughout their life course. This deterministic view implies that crime is simply inevitable for some people, and could lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy or to profiling of those that are labeled in the community. Another weakness is that the theory is difficult to study empirically, and therefore little credible evidence has been found to support the theory. This leads to another criticism, the chicken and egg issue: did the label cause the deviance, or did the deviance incur the label? This is also evident with the Pygmalion Effect, which focuses on outside perceptions of labels instead of an internalized label (Thompson, 2014). For example, if a teacher is told a child is a “problem child,” then he/she is more likely to treat the child in accordance with that problem label, instead of the child thinking he is bad and behaving badly because of the label. Labeling theory does have its advantages as well. First, it may have merit on crimes of the powerful, as naming and shaming could produce guilt and lessen the likelihood of recidivism for the labeled individual if disapproval comes from someone the individual highly respects (Braithwaite & Drahos, 2002). Still, there is a corporate veil that protects the powerful from stigma (Braithwaite & Drahos, 2002). Another advantage is that labeling theory brought up conversations and discussions of reintegration through internal shaming and the risks of public shaming to protect vulnerable offenders like juveniles from losing opportunities in the futu>