Labeling Theory | Sociology | Chegg Tutors

In sociology, labeling theory is the view of deviance according to which being labeled as a “deviant” leads a person to engage in deviant behavior. Originating in Howard Becker’s work in the 1960s, labeling theory explains why people’s behavior clashes with social norms. For example, a teenager who lives in an urban area frequented by gangs might be labeled as a gang member. Accordingly, the teenager might begin to behave like a gang member or become one. Sometimes the person labeled incorporates the label into that person’s self-concept (as when a teenager labeled as a gang member begins to think of himself or herself as a gang member). Some researchers believe people of lower social status are more likely to be labeled deviant.

In this video, Chegg Sociology tutor Alex H. describes the definitions of Labeling Theory and Deviance. Alex walks through the timeless example of jocks and nerds and how labeling people can help perpetuate how they identify themselves.


Sociology tutoring on Chegg Tutors

Learn about Labeling Theory, Deviance, and other Sociology topics on Chegg Tutors. Work with live, online Sociology tutors like Alex H. who can help you at any moment, whether at 2pm or 2am.

Liked the video tutorial? Schedule lessons on-demand or schedule weekly tutoring in advance with tutors like Alex H.



About Alex H., Sociology tutor on Chegg Tutors:

Georgia Tech, Class of 2018
Biomedical Engineer major

Subjects tutored: SAT II Physics, SAT II US History, Algebra, Linear Algebra, SAT (math), Pre-Algebra, Biomedical Science, Sociology, MATLAB, SAT II Mathematics Level 2, Physics, Calculus, Pre-Calculus, Biology, Government, Biomechanical Engineering, SAT II Biology E/M, Psychology, Geometry, SAT II Chemistry, US History, Basic Science, Basic Math, Natural Sciences, Materials Science, SAT II Mathematics Level 1, and Chemistry

I have been tutoring for the last 4 years in both paid and unpaid situations. I am most skilled at teaching math, chemistry (especially organic chemistry), and physics.

My greatest passion is music. I love listening to music, but I especially like playing music. I play a multitude of instruments, and I am currently in the Georgia Tech marching band.

Want to book a private lesson with Alex H.?

Message Alex at


Like what you see? Subscribe to Chegg’s Youtube Channel:


Visit for purchasing or renting textbooks, getting homework help, finding an online tutor, applying for scholarships and internships, discovering colleges, and more!


Want more from Chegg? Follow Chegg on social media: