Labeling of Individuals Term Paper

Pages: 2 (707 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality


There is also the case of people in need of help being labeled and this labeling preventing them from getting that help. The prime example of this is in relation to mental illness.

This issue is discussed in detail in Goldberg's "Speaking With the Devil - A Dialogue with Evil." In this work he explains how labeling people as 'criminal psychopath' or other terms, does not mean that the individual is understood. It only serves to make the assessor feel that the illness is understood and in doing this decide not to make an effort to truly understand. The patient gets no worth or help from being labeled as such, the labeling only makes the labeled and the labeler feel that there is nothing that can be done. It is essentially an excuse to accept the behaviour as abnormal and do nothing to rectify it.

The one area where the labeling is seen as beneficial is where it is not seen as a solution. Labeling is able to group certain people together, by doing this one person's situation can be compared to others like it and useful information can be obtained from this. In this way, labeling is a tool to be used on the way to a solution, not as a solution itself.

This same concept applies to labeling as a whole. Labeling someone as 'gay' does not mean that this person is understood. It may mean that being 'gay' is part of who they are, but it is no reason to assume that they are known and think about it no further. For labeling to be of benefit it must be thought of as a tool to use in understanding others. This applies both to those being labeled and to all people who react to labeled individuals.


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Becker, H.S. Outsiders. New York: Free Press, 1963.

Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason. trans. Richard Howard. New York: Random House, 1965.

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How to Cite "Labeling of Individuals" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Labeling of Individuals.  (2002, February 13).  Retrieved September 20, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Labeling of Individuals."  13 February 2002.  Web.  20 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Labeling of Individuals."  February 13, 2002.  Accessed September 20, 2021.