An understanding of continuity in lines of action is crucial for middle‐range theories of deviant careers in general and labeling theory in particular. Following Becker, Goffman, and Robert Stebbins, I propose that the answer lies in a clear and adequate conceptualization of commitment processes. The goal of this paper, accordingly, is to provide such a conceptualization. In pursuing this goal, I discuss Stebbins' approach to labeling and commitment to deviance and contrast it with other treatments of commitment, in particular those of Becker, Goffman, Kanter, and Stryker. Next, I present an alternative conceptualization—a three‐fold commitment framework—as a multidimensional and generic approach. After describing the framework, I apply it to labeling and commitment to deviance, with illustrations from interviews with a former member of an outlaw motorcycle club. I conclude with a variety of suggestions for research that stem from the three‐fold framework.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||23|
|State||Published - Feb 1994|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science