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In first grade, Scott is unfairly singled out by his teacher for bad behavior, partly because his older brothers had behavioral problems themselves. Throughout grade school, Scott gains a reputation as a "problem" child. Scott eventually drops out of school, thinking he was born to fail anyway. Which school of thought best fits Scott's experience?
According to the labeling theory, the deviant behavior of individuals is influenced by the reactions and opinions of the environment. Therefore, deviant behavior is not present by itself. However, if society hypothetically assigns a label to an individual or a social group, this may subconsciously influence the individual to adopt a model of deviant behavior. According to this theory, deviance results from a reaction, not a specific act.
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