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Pedophilia and Sex Crimes in Context of Labeling Theory and the Interactive Approach
Over the years, many different theories have emerged that attempt to explain the actions of those described as criminals or deviants. These have proved the source of great debate among sociologists and criminologists, but there is not necessarily one that is a definitive explanation.
It is important to remember that crime and deviance are not one and the same, although they are intrinsically linked. Perhaps it is useful to first define what is meant by these two terms. Crime is defined as "...an offence which goes beyond the personal and into the public sphere, breaking...laws, to which legitimate punishments...are attached..." (Marshall, 1998, p 125). Deviance, on the other hand, is said by Marshall (1998) to have two strands: the first, anything that goes against societal norms but is not necessarily illegal (for example, homosexuals are seen as deviant but commit no crime). Secondly, deviance can be viewed as a stigma construct - more or less a label created by society (for instance, people wearing 'abnormal' clothes, such as Goths, seem to have been labelled this way, rather than deliberately trying being different).
Sexual crimes are often seen as both deviant and criminal, though criminal acts are to be what is concentrated on here. …
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