The Interactionist labelling theory/Y damcaniaeth labelu Rhyngweithiol (En/Cy)

English version/fersiwn Saesneg:

The labelling theory belongs to the Interactionists. They believe that nobody is naturally deviant (an idea that conflicts with the New Right), but become deviant when labelled as such, and whatever label this may be has a profound influence on the individual’s actions. Interactionists focus on the individual’s response to their label(s); this is what distinguishes them from other social theorists, such as the Functionalists, who tend to focus their attention on what leads the individual to deviance in the first place.

Lemert developed the labelling theory. The argued that deviance could be split into two separate groups – primary and secondary. The former is referenced to deviance which does not gain the attention of the public, and therefore does not receive a label. The latter, on the other hand, means actions which does receive a label from society, similarly, Howard Becker puts forth the notion that the term deviance does not actually exist, “Deviant behaviour is behaviour that people so label”, and, “an act only becomes deviant when people define it as such”. He therefore implies that an action has to be labelled as deviant for it to actually become one, because the term itself is socially constructed.

As it is socially constructed, the environment surrounding the situation, including where, when and for which reasons it has occurred, decide if the action is deviant. Often times, the proses of stigmatisation will occur if something is considered deviant, and the action itself will be thereby associated with a bad label. Sometimes the label works like the ‘master status’, which takes over every other label. Examples of this include thieves, prostitutes and homosexuals (this is considered deviant in many cultures).  All the negative connotations of that label are usually thrusted onto the individual. The Interactionist Jock Young supports Becker’s work through his research into Hippy culture. Smoking weed was not considered to be a priority for these groups, until the negative attention from the public and the police.

According to Cooley and his “looking glass self” theory, people tend to see themselves how other people perceive and react to them. The label works as a self-fulfilling prophecy to control people; often, they will start to act to live up to the label, and thus starting a ‘deviant career’, meaning that certain individuals will start to revolve their lives around deviance and/or crime. The activity, therefore, will turn into a social role.

The Sociologist Stan Cohen pointed out in his ‘moral panic’ thesis on the subject of the labelling theory, that subcultures are the most exposed to this process. To start, Cohen suggested that the public would take notice of an activity taking place. An example would be, according to his study, the Mods and Rockers of 1960’s England. As a result of this, agencies of formal and informal control would react to it. The media often amplifies deviance and exaggerates a particular event to make the story more newsworthy, and thus selling more newspapers and generating more profit, although this has negative effects on society. Members of society would start to be wary of specific symbols and icons, and view them as troublemakers. Then, they would overstate the situation by expecting more trouble, and thereby redefining the issue by creating moral panic as a reaction to deviance. Additionally, this may necessitate police officers to target specific groups, meaning that the labelling theory would rotate once again.

To reiterate, the labelling theory plays a significant role within society if we take into account its effect on individuals. Labels may have a positive and negative effect on individuals, and is completely dependent on the situation, or even if the action is labelled by society in the first place.

Welsh version/fersiwn Cymraeg:

Mae’r theori labelu yn perthyn i’r Rhyngweithwyr. Credon nhw fod neb yn wyrdroëdig yn naturiol, ond yn wydredig o dan label, a’r label sy’n ddylanwad mawr ar ymddygiad unigolyn (mae hyn yn gwrthddweud credoau’r Dde Newydd). Mae’r Rhyngweithwyr yn ffocysu ar ymateb yr unigolyn i’r label, ac i’r gwrthwyneb, lle mae’r Swyddogaethwyr yn ffocysu ar beth sy’n arwain at yr unigolyn i fod yn wydredig yn y lle cyntaf.

Datblygwyd y syniad o label gan Lemert. Mae gwyredd yn rhannu i ddau grŵp gwahanol, sef gwyredd cynradd ac eilradd. Mae gwyredd cynradd yn cyfeirio at wyredd nad sy’n derbyn sylw’r cyhoedd ac felly nid oes ganddo label. Mae gwyredd eilradd, ar y llaw arall, yn golygu gweithred sy’n derbyn label gan y gymdeithas. Yn debyg, soniodd Howard Becker nad yw’r term gwyredd yn bodoli, “Deviant behaviour is behaviour that people so label”, ac, “an act only becomes deviant when people define it as such”. Awgrymir felly, rhaid i weithred cael ei enwi’n gwyredd er mwyn iddo fod yn wyredd, gan fod y term ei hun yn enghraifft o luniad cymdeithasol.

Gan ei fod yn lluniad cymdeithasol, mae’r amgylchiadau o gwmpas y sefyllfa, megis ble, pryd, ac am ba resymau, yn penderfynu os yw gweithred yn gwyredig. Yn aml bydd y proses o stigmateiddio yn digwydd os caiff rhywbeth ei labelu’n gwyredig, a chysylltwyd y weithred â label gwael. Weithiau bydd y label yn gweithio fel “Statws Meistr” ac yn cymryd dros bob label arall, megis lleidr, person hoyw, person ag iselder a llofruddwr. Cysylltwyd yr holl dermau negyddol sy’n perthyn i’r label i’r unigolyn. Mae’r Rhyngweithwyr Jock Young yn atgyfnerthu gwaith Becker trwy eu astudiaeth o ‘Hippies’ pwy oedd yn ysmygu cyffuriau. Nid oedd y gweithgaredd hyn yn arwyddocâd iddynt nes i’r cyfryngau a’r heddlu targedu nhw.

Yn ôl Cooley, yn ei ddamcaniaeth “through the looking-glass self”, mae pobl yn gweld eu hunain yn y ffordd mae pobl eraill yn ymateb iddynt. Mae’r label yn gweithio fel proffwydoliaeth hunan gyflawni i reoli’r unigolyn – byddent yn ddechrau ymddwyn fel y label, fel arfer, a dechrau gyrfa gwyredig, sy’n golygu bydd pobl yn ddechrau byw eu bywydau yn uniongyrchol i droseddu. Bydd y gweithgaredd, felly, yn troi i mewn i rôl gymdeithasol.

Sonnir Stanley Cohen yn ei damcaniaeth o banig moesol ynglŷn â’r theori label, yn bennaf ymysg isddiwylliannau. I ddechrau, bu’r cyhoedd yn cymryd sylw o’r gweithgaredd, ac esiampl o hyn yw’r Mods a Rockers y chwedegau. Fel canlyniad o hyn, bydder asiantaethau yn ymateb i’r gweithgaredd, megis y cyfryngau. Bydd y cyhoedd yn aml yn helaethu gwyredd i werthu papurau, sydd yn creu ganlyniadau gwael ar y gymdeithas. Bydd y gymdeithas yn gweld symbolau penodol fel eiconau o achoswyr trwbl. Yna, byddent yn gorliwio’r sefyllfa ac yn rhagweld mwy o drwbl, a chrëwyd panig moesol fel ymateb i’r gwyredd, sy’n ailddiffinio’r broblem. Hefyd, efallai bydd hyn yn achosi i’r heddlu i orymateb a thargedu grwpiau penodol o bobl, a bydd y theori label yn cylchdroi eto.

I grynhoi, mae’r theori labelu yn chwarae rôl hanfodol o fewn y gymdeithas, gan ystyried ei ddylanwad ar yr unigolyn. Gall y label effeithio person yn negyddol ac mewn ffordd cadarnhaol, sy’n hollol ddibynnol ar y sefyllfa, neu hyd yn oed os yw’r gweithred yn cael ei labelu gan y gymdeithas yn y lle cyntaf.


Surveillance (English/Cymraeg)


English translation:

The word “surveillance” is derived from French, meaning to observe something or someone to find and block crime. “Sur” means “from above” and “veiller” means “to watch”. Surveillance is a form of social control.

David Lyon defines it as “any collection of data and processing of personal data, whether identifiable or no, for the purpose of influencing or managing those whose data has been garnered”.

Examples include:

  • CCTV;
  • Tagging;
  • Tracking and
  • Storing of DNA.

In modern Britain, there are about forty thousand CCTV cameras, and in the last four years, the British Council spent roughly £515 million on them. This amount of money would be enough to employ an extra 4121 police officers.

The sociologist Gary Marx used this idea of a “surveillance state” to convey the idea that “the all-encompassing use of computer surveillance technology in modern society is for total social control”. It is possible to associate this idea with the Left Realists as they believe that surveillance is beneficial for society because it “hardens targets” – it makes it harder for people to commit crime.

Yet, despite the thousands of CCTV cameras that Britain has, crime rates aren’t comparably lower than countries who have less surveillance. Germany, for example.

The British philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) used this idea of surveillance to make a building called “the Panopticon”, which he used as a prison. The design of the “perfect prison” was structured in such a way that cells would be open to a central tower. Individuals in the cells would not be able to interact with each other and they are permanently facing a central panoptic tower. They cannot see whether or whether not there is a person in the tower and therefore must believe that they can be watched at any moment. Bentham noted that this is a model for how society should work in general.

The French postmodernist philosopher Michel Foulcault (1926-1984) also agreed that this is how society should work in order to maintain social order. He argued that the Panopticon was “a diagram of the mechanism of power reduced to its ideal form”, thus it was a positive objective because it shows that society has significantly moved forward from barbaric acts of so-called justice, such as the death penalty. Other postmodernists, like Stanley Cohen (1942-2013), supported this claim by stating that social control and detention used to be public and overt, but in modern society, it is considered to be more discrete and subtle.

Also, the Panopticon helped Foulcault explore the power-knowledge concept and the relationship between agencies of social control (like the police, for instance) and the public.  Because of this, surveillance is extremely useful, and to some extents, it helps to avoid the functionalist term of “anomie” (meaning: complete lack of social control/utter chaos).

However, many Marxists would disagree with Foulcault because they believe that surveillance is a weapon that is used by the Bourgeoisie (ruling class) to exploit and use the Proletariat (the working class).

Cyfieithiad Cymraeg:

Mae gwyliadwriaeth yn air Ffrangeg sy’n golygu gwylio rhywun neu rywbeth er mwyn darganfod a rhwystro trosedd. Mae “sur” yn golygu “o uwchben” ac mae “veiller” yn golygu “i wylio”, ac yn ffordd o sicrhau rheolaeth gymdeithasol. Mae David Lyon yn ei ddiffinio fel, “any collection of data and processing of personal data, whether identifiable or not, for the purpose of influencing or managing those whose data has been garnered”. Mae esiamplau’n cynnwys CCTV, tagio, tracio, a chadw cofnod o DNA. Bodola tua 40 mil o gamerâu monitro cymdeithasol (CCTV) ym Mhrydain, a gwariodd y Cyngor Prydeinig  tua £515 miliwn arnynt yn y pedwar blynedd ddiwethaf. Byddai math hyn o arian cyflogi 4121 heddwas.

Soniodd Gary Marx am y syniad o “cymdeithas gwyliadwriaeth”, sef, “defnydd holl-gynhwysfawr o wyliadwriaeth dechnolegol yn y gymdeithas gyfoes am reolaeth gymdeithasol gyflawn”. Mae modd cysylltu’r cysyniad gyda Realwyr y Dde oherwydd eu bod yn credu mai gwyliadwriaeth yn fuddiol i’r gymdeithas oherwydd mae’n enghraifft o galedu targedau. Mae’n caledu targedau, megis trwy “Neighbourhood Watch”, yn gwneud i drosedd fod yn fwy anodd i gyflawni.

Ond er hyn, er gwaethaf y miloedd o gamerâu monitro ym Mhrydain, nid yw cyfradd trosedd Prydain yn gymharol is na gwledydd sydd â llai o wyliadwriaeth, megis yr Almaen.

Defnyddiodd Jeremy Bentham y syniad o wyliadwriaeth i greu adeilad o’r enw “y Panoptican”. Defnyddiodd yr adeilad hwn fel carchar ac roedd yn caniatáu i warchodwyr i wylio carcharon heb iddynt allu gwybod os ydynt o dan sylw neu ddim. Roedd dim ond angen un gwarchodwr. Felly mae rhaid i’r carcharon wastad ymddwyn fel y petai eu bod yn cael eu gwylio i osgoi sancsiynau posib.

Mynegodd yr athronyddwyd ôl-fodern Michel Foulcalt yn defnyddio’r Panopticon fel trosiad i’r gymdeithas ehangach, ac mae’n “diagram of a mechanism of power reduced to its ideal form”, felly mae rhywbeth cadarnhaol yw hyn oherwydd mae’n ddangos bod y gymdeithas wedi symud ymlaen o weithredoedd barbaraidd o sancsiynu, megis yn lle’r gosb eithaf. Mae’r ôl-fodernwyr Stanley Cohen yn atgyfnerthu at y syniad hwn trwy ddweud bod rheolaeth gymdeithasol a chosbi yn arfer bod yn ddull cyhoeddus ac amlwg, ond bellach mae’n fwy arwahanol a chynnil trwy wyliadwriaeth, megis CCTV a thagio.

Hefyd, mae’r Panopticon yn helpu Foulcault i ddeall ac ystyried y cysylltiad rhwng asiantaethau rheolaeth gymdeithasol a’r cyhoedd a’r cysyniad pŵer-gwybodaeth. Oherwydd hyn, mae gwyliadwriaeth yn ddull pwerus iawn, ac i ryw raddau, mae’n osgoi’r term swyddogaethol o “anomi”.

Byddai Marcswyr yn anghytuno gyda Foulcault oherwydd maent yn dweud bod gwyliadwriaeth yn arf sy’n cael eu defnyddio gan y Bourgeoisie yn erbyn y Proletariat.

Is the British Criminal Justice System institutionally racist? / Hiliaeth sefydliadol o fewn y System Cyfiawnder Troseddol? English and Welsh translations.

English / Saesneg:

There are strong implications that ethnic minorities in Britain, particularly the black community, get treated a lot more unfairly by the Justice System. For instance, the number of black prisoners counts for 13% on a whole, where the population of the black community counts for only 2.8%. Similarly, 5.8% of our society belong to the Asian community (for instance, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian etc.), but 7.9% of all prisoners are Asian too. These statistics are comparable with the underrepresentation of white people in prison: 88% of us are white, but prison consists of 73% of white ethnicity. This tells us that ethnic minority groups (EMG’s) are hugely overrepresented in the prison system. On one hand, a lot of sociologists do consider this to be a matter of institutional racism, but other possible explanations need to be explored in order to come to a full conclusion.

Institutional racism is a term that refers to prejudice and racial bias in a social system, in this case, the police would be an example. “Institutional racism is about stereotyping; it is about ignorance… it is about seeing black people as a problem and it is about White pretence” (Grieve and French). Thus, for these reasons, the police are much more likely to target black people, and they’re much more likely to be “stopped and searched” by the police. The ‘Youth Justice Board’ (YJB) support this claim through their research into the overrepresentation of young people from EMG’s in crime. Between 2003-4, they counted as 2/5 of every case of stop and searches, particularly amongst the younger generation. In London alone, black males are 28% more likely to be stopped and searched than any other ethnic group.

Then again, demographic reasons offer an explanation for this. The population of EMG’s appears to be younger. In fact, 40% of the black community are under 16, compared to 35% of Pakistanis and only 20% of white people (National Statistics, 2005). But to reinforce my former point, Smith, Gray and Holdaway argue that the police follow old stereotypes of people from EMG’s and target them as potential suspects as a result. Many sociologists are doubtful of this because of the victim’s prejudice, so essentially the police only target these particular groups because they are who the public tend to report.

The term “Canteen Culture” was coined by an ex-police officer named Reyner and is used to describe racism within the police force. He believes that racial prejudice and sexism is bred and nurtured within the police force because they arguably need to adopt these feelings in order to be part of the “rank”. These ideas are morphed into the police system because they tend to work long hours in a stressful work setting, so for many people, negative influences are often hard to ignore.

What the Metropolitan police say is that racism within the police force is a mere reflection of the racism in society as a whole. Macpherson reinforces this idea by saying that the vast majority of police officers are white males, which allows racism because it does not reflect Britain’s multicultural society. Exactly 10% of the police force come from EMG backgrounds. Even Sir Anthony Burden of the South Wales Police agreed with this, ““I would be the first to accept that for 150 years, we have been a white male organisation”.

Not only that but the police tend to target areas with a higher population of people with ethnic minority backgrounds. Yet many sociologists argue against this theory by saying that the police are only hardening the targets and has no link whatsoever with racial bias.

The organisation ‘Crime Concern’ reiterates this idea that black males are much more likely to be thrown into the justice system because of their overrepresentation in risk groups, for instance, poverty, educational failures, mental health and a lack of positive role models. Statistics shows that people who experience poverty and deprivation, tend to be more inclined to commit a crime, respectively. In the same way, if these particular risk groups are tackled correctly, then it is likely that we would see the figures of overrepresentation fall. Merton states that people mainly commit crime because of status frustration, which could be linked to the amount of people from EMG who currently do tend to be a lot poorer than their white counterparts. So essentially, people from EMG are more likely to commit crimes because of the many problems they face in society, such as racism and poverty.

The ‘Race and Criminal Justice System’ states in their article that “black males are five times more likely to be imprisoned than white people”, and further investigations prove that black males and Asians are far more likely to receive immediate custody from the Court: 29% of Asians, 29% of black males and 22% of white males. These statistics should not be as it is if you consider the predominant population of the white community in Britain. It is evidence of the overrepresentation ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system. Then again, black males are statistically more likely to commit more serious crimes, so tougher treatment would seem logical in this sense.

Black criminals are more likely to receive fines and more community service compared to white people (Sharpe, 2005). Furthermore, a black magistrate once noted that black defendants were “more likely to receive harsh remarks, severe sentencing, disregard for personal mitigation, easy findings of guilt irrespective of evidence, most likely to refuse bale, and most likely to receive a sentence” (Bird, 2009). This outlines the idea that EMG are treated unjustly in comparison with white people.

There has been recent research into the probation system, and what was found was that there is a strong element of racial prejudice that is directed towards members of EMG, particularly towards the black community, “There has been a systematic failure to address issues of race and racial discrimination in an adequate but appropriate way” (Travis). Therefore racism is a factor exists, despite efforts for it to not be.

The labelling theory (Howard Becker, Interactionist), means that a person is never deviant until society labels him/her as one. This ties into the idea about the Criminal Justice System because everyone from any social group commit a crime, yet only a specific few are actually labelled as one. Often, people are labelled even if they’ve not committed any crime or act of deviance, and are only labelled because their identity is associated. For instance, an Asian may be called a “terrorist”, or a black person may be called a “drug dealer”. These labels have bad effects because it is likely that these targeted individuals can form a “self-fulfilling prophecy”, which means to live up to the label that has been given to them. Then again, this is not always the case because there has been a trend, though mainly female, who react to the unfair label by rebelling against it, and thus defeating the label. The police, specifically, react to these stereotypes by following them, according to Miller.

The Neo-Marxist Stuart Hall focuses on the labelling theory to explain the overrepresentation of black males in the Justice System, but instead of taking the Interactionist approach, he argues that people from ethnic minority groups use violence and crime as a frustrated response to institutional racism. They turn to racism as a way to survive in society, which could explain overrepresentation and the apparent racism of society as a whole.

The Left Realists contradict the labelling theory by stating that ethnic minority groups tend to commit more crime because of three main reasons: social exclusion, relative deprivation, where they feel rejected from society, and because of a lack of good role models, such as good parents. Therefore the Criminal Justice System is not necessarily to blame for the overrepresentation of ethnic minority groups, but there are other social factors which are (Lea and Young).

Of course, it’s obvious to us that institutional racism is still a problem within the Criminal Justice System after looking at the irrefutable evidence. Additionally, there are other factors that exist that explain the noticeably high statistics that I have mentioned before, such as poverty and academic failure. Yet institutional racism proves to be the overriding issue for many: 58% of black people feel that they’re treated unfairly by the police, compared to 41% of Indians, and 45% of Pakistanis. There’s a clear percentage who believe that they’re being mistreated by the Justice System.

The Criminal Justice System has, nevertheless, evolved to become more efficient in tackling racism in society, as a result, modernisation and efficiency. The police, in particular, have changed their tactics on dealing with racism efficiently and have become considerably more mindful and sensitive of it. Stephen Lawrence’s mother once stated that “The police made mistakes (in the past), but now they’ve learnt their lesson and they’ve not made the same mistake twice”.


Cymraeg / Welsh:

Mae awgrym cryf bod grwpiau ethnig, yn bennaf pobl groenddu, yn cael eu trin yn fwy llym gan y system cyfiawnder troseddol. Er enghraifft, mae canran o garcharwyr croenddu yn cyfri fel 13.2%, lle yn y gymdeithas, dim ond 2.8% o’r boblogaeth yn groenddu. Yn debyg, mae canran o garcharwyr Asiaidd yn cyfri fel 7.9%, lle dim ond 5.8% o’r boblogaeth Prydain yn Asiaidd. Mae modd gymharu hyn â phobl wen, gan fod dim ond 73% o garcharwyr ag ethnigrwydd gwyn, ac mae’r boblogaeth Prydain yn cynnwys 88% o bobl wen. Mae hyn yn dangos i ni fod grwpiau lleiafrifol ethnig yn cael eu gorgynrychioli o fewn y system cyfiawnder troseddol.  Ar un llaw, sonnir nifer o gymdeithasegwyr bod hyn yn adlewyrchu’r hiliaeth sefydliadol o fewn y system, ond hefyd nid oes modd anwybyddu’r rhesymau arall sy’n esbonio’r ystadegau.

Mae hiliaeth sefydliadol yn derm sy’n cyfeirio at hiliaeth o fewn system cymdeithasol, megis yr heddlu, “institutional racism is about stereotyping; it is about ignorance… it is about seineg black people as a problem and it is about White pretence” (Grieve a French). Ac am y rhesymau hyn, mae’r heddlu yn fwy tebygol o dargedu pobl groenddu, ac mae mwy ohonynt gael eu “stopio ac archwilio” gan yr heddlu. Ffeindiodd y ‘Youth Justice Board’ (YJB) fod y gor-gynrychiolaeth o ifancwyr o grwpiau ethnig lleiafrifol yn dechrau gyda’r ffigwr amghymesurol o ifancwyr a chafodd eu stopio ac archwilio gan yr heddlu. Rhwng 2003-4, roedd ifancwyr rhwng yr oedrannau deg ac ugain yn cyfri fel 2/5 o bob achos o stopio ac archwilio. Felly gall gor-gynrychiolaeth o bobl groenddu fod yn gysylltiedig ag oedran cyn unrhyw esboniad arall. Yn Llundain yn unig, mae bechgyn croenddu yn 28% yn fwy tebygol o gael eu stopio ac archwilio ganddynt.

Er hyn, gall resymau demograffig esbonio’r patrwm hyn. Mae gan grwpiau ethnig poblogaeth fwy ifanc: mae tua 40% o gymuned y dduon dan 16, a 35% o bobl Bacistanaidd, lle mae dim ond 20% o bob dan 16 allan o bobl wen (Swyddfa am Ystadegau Swyddogol, 2005). Ond i atgyfnerthu ar fy mhwynt blaenorol, mae Smith, Gray a Holdaway yn dadlau fod yr heddlu yn dilyn hen ystrydebau o bobl groenddu, ac yn targedu nhw’n fwy fel canlyniad. Mae rhai cymdeithasegwyr yn amheus o hyn gan ystyried tuedd y dioddefwyr, a gall yr heddlu targedu pobl ddu oherwydd dyna’r grŵp mae’r cyhoedd yn adrodd iddynt.

Mae hiliaeth ymysg yr heddlu yn cwympo o dan derm o’r enw “Canteen Culture” (Reyner), lle mae ymddygiadau hiliol a rhywiaethol yn bodoli o fewn yr heddlu oherwydd maent yn teimlo fel dyle nhw fod yn rhan o’r ranc. Caniateir i’r syniadau yma i bridio o fewn y system heddluol achos yr oriau hir mae’r heddlu yn gorfod gweithio; maent yn treulio amser eithriadol o hir â’i gilydd ac felly’n dylanwadu ar ei gilydd mewn ffordd negatif.

Ond, yn ôl yr Heddlu Metropolinaidd, mae’r hiliaeth sy’n bodoli o fewn yr heddlu yn adlewyrchu’r hiliaeth o fewn y gymdeithas. Mae Macpherson yn ehangu gan ddweud fod canran enfawr o’r boblogaeth o fewn yr heddlu yn wyn, ac maent yn hiliol gan nad yw’r sefydliad yn adlewyrchu cymdeithas amlddiwylliannol. Yn wir, dim ond 10% o’r heddlu yn dod o grwpiau lleiafrifoedd ethnig. Cytunodd Sir Anthony Burden, o’r Heddlu De Cymru, ar yr ystadegau hyn gan ddweud, “I would be the first to accept that for 150 years, we have been a white male organisation”.

Hefyd, mae’r heddlu yn dueddol o dargedu ardaloedd sydd â phoblogaeth uwch o bobl sy’n rhan o leiafrif ethnig. Ond nid yw rai cymdeithasegwyr yn gweld hyn fel ffactor hiliol oherwydd gall yr heddlu gael eu cymhelli i galedu targedu yn unig, a trwy dargedu ardaloedd lle mae poblogaeth uwch o grwpiau lleiafrifoedd ethnig yn mynd i edrych yn hiliol beth bynnag.

Mae’r sefydliad ‘Crime Concern’ yn atgyfnerthu’r syniad bod bechgyn croenddu yn dueddol o gael eu carlamu i yn y system droseddol oherwydd y gor-gynrychiolaeth mewn grwpiau risg, gan gynnwys tlodi, methiannau addysgol, iechyd meddyliol a diffyg rhieni sy’n ddylanwadol mewn ffordd gadarnhaol. Mae pobl sy’n profi tlodi ac amddifadedd yn fwy tebygol o gyflawni troseddau.  Mae tystiolaeth yn dangos fod lleihau’r targedau risg yn lleihau’r canran o droseddwyr sy’n rhan o grŵp lleiafrif ethnig, felly gall daclo’r ffactor hyn lleihau gor-gynrychiolaeth o grwpiau lleiafrifoedd ethnig yn y system cyfiawnder troseddol. Yn ôl Merton, mae pobl yn troseddu oherwydd rhwystredigaeth statws. Yn y cyd-destun yma, mae pobl o grwpiau lleiafrifoedd ethnig yn fwy tebygol o gyflawni trosedd oherwydd yr holl broblemau cymdeithasol maent yn eu hwynebu, megis diffyg addysg, tlodi, a hiliaeth.

Yn ôl adroddiad gan ‘Hil a’r System Cyfiawnder Troseddol’, mae “fechgyn du yn pum gwaith yn fwy tebygol o gael eu carcharu na phobl wen”, ac mae astudiaethau pellach yn dangos fod pobl groenddu ac Asiaidd yn dueddol o dderbyn dalfa ddi-oed gan y system cyfiawnder troseddol: 27% i’r dduon a 29% i bobl Asiaidd, gan gymharu â 22% i bobl wen. Dyle’r canrannau hyn ddim bod yn mor uwch na phobl wen gan fod canran uwch o bobl wen ym Mhrydain. Er hyn, mae astudiaethau’n dangos fod pobl o grwpiau ethnig lleiafrifol yn dueddol o gyflawni troseddau mwy difrifol, felly bu’n rhaid i’r system gyfreithiol eu trin yn fwy llym er gwaethaf eu hiliaeth.

Mae troseddwyr croenddu yn fwy tebygol o dderbyn ffin o arian a fwy o wasanaethu’r gymuned na phobl wen (Sharpe, 2005). Ac yn bellach, sylweddolodd ynad du fod diffynyddion du yn fwy tebygol o dderbyn “sylwadau llym, delfrydau difrifol, diystyru ar gyfer lliniaru personol, canfyddiadau hawdd o euogrwydd heb ystyried y dystiolaeth, ac yn fwy tebygol o fynd i’r carchar” (Bird, 2009). O hyn, mae’n glir fod pobl o grwpiau lleiafrifoedd ethnig yn cael eu trin yn wahanol na phobl wen.

Yn ddiweddar, cynhaliwyd ymchwiliadau i mewn i’r system ‘gwasanaethau prawf’ (probation system), a ffeindiwyd elfen gryf o hiliaeth tuag at grwpiau lleiafrifoedd ethnig, yn bennaf yn erbyn pobl groenddu.“There has been a systematic failure to address issues of race and racial discrimination in an adequate but appropriate way” (Travis). Felly mae hiliaeth yn bodoli er gwaethaf yr holl ymdrechion i’w waredi.

Mae’r theori labelu (gan Howard Becker, rhyngweithwyr), yn golygu nad yw person yn gwyredig nes i’r gymdeithas ei labelu fel un. Mae hyn yn gysylltiedig gyda’r system cyfiawnder troseddol oherwydd gall bawb o bob grŵp cymdeithasol cyflawni trosedd, ond dim ond nifer gyfyngedig yn cael eu labelu’n gwyredig. Mae modd defnyddio’r damcaniaeth hyn fel esiampl, megis mae pob person du yn gwerthu cyffuriau, neu bob person Asiaidd yn derfysgwyr. Mae’r heddlu yn benodol yn ymateb i’r stereoteipiau hyn trwy eu dilyn nhw, yn ôl Miller.

Mae’r Neo Farcswyr Stuart Hall yn ffocysu ar y theori labelu esbonio gor-gynrychiolaeth o bobl ddu yn y system cyfiawnder, ond yn lle, mae’r grwpiau ethnig lleiafrifol yn defnyddio strategaethau troseddol fel ymateb rhwystredig i’r hiliaeth o fewn y gymdeithas, ac nid oherwydd hiliaeth systematig, o reidrwydd. Maent yn troi at drosedd fel ffordd o oroesi yn y gymdeithas.

Mae’r Realwyr y Chwith yn gwrthddweud y theori labelu trwy fynegi fod grwpiau ethnig lleiafrifol yn dueddol o droseddu’n fwy am dri phrif reswm: ymylaeth cymdeithasol, tlodi cymharol, felly’n teimlo’n wahardd o’r gymdeithas, ac isddiwylliannau sydd â dylanwadau gwael sydd wedi gwahanu o normau a gwerthoedd y gymdeithas. Felly nid yw’r system cyfiawnder troseddol yn gatalyst am gor-gynrychiolaeth o grwpiau lleiafrifol o fewn y system (Lea a Young).

Wrth gwrs, mae’n amlwg i ni fod hiliaeth sefydliadol dal yn broblem o fewn y system cyfiawnder troseddol. Bodola cymaint o ystadegau i brofi’r ffaith hyn. Gall ffactorau eraill tu hwnt o hiliaeth esbonio’r rhesymau dros ganran uwch o bobl o grwpiau lleiafrifoedd ethnig sy’n cyflawni troseddau, er enghraifft perthyn i grwpiau risg, megis tlodi a methiannau addysgiadol. Er hyn, mae 58% o bobl groenddu yn teimlo eu bod yn cael eu trin yn annheg gan yr heddlu, gan gymharu â 41% o bobl Indiaid a 45% o bobl Pacistanaidd. Mae canran amlwg o bobl yn credu mai’r system heddlu yn eu trin yn annheg.

Mae’r heddlu wedi ymdrechu, beth bynnag, i wella’r sefyllfa hyn gan ymateb i’r adroddiadau negatif sy’n cael eu cyhoeddi amdanynt. Mae’r heddlu yn newid eu tactegau am sut i ymdrin â’r gymdeithas heb gynnwys y ffactor hiliol fel ymateb i’r holl sylw drwg gan y gymdeithas. Yn ôl mam Stephen Lawrence, pwy fu farw o ymosodiad hiliol, “The police made mistakes (in the past), but now they’ve learnt their lesson and they’ve not made the same mistake twice”. Mae hyn yn awgrym fod y system cyfiawnder troseddol yn datblygu mewn ffordd gadarnhaol, ac am barhau gwella yn y dyfodol.

Agencies of social control

The term socialisation is a common term used by sociologists, psychologists, educationalists, anthropologists and political scientist to describe the lifelong process of learning values, norms and customs of a particular society. It provides individuals with skills and understanding that is necessary for conformity and survival.

There are five main groups that are responsible for the process of socialisation, which I will separately discuss in greater depth.

The family

The family is an example of primary socialisation, it is the earliest stage of a person’s learning about culture, for instance, how to eat with a knife and fork.

(Fact: culture is socially constructed – thus it varies from country to country. Example: Chinese culture teaches that it’s a norm to eat with chopsticks, whereas in Western countries (like the UK), children are taught to eat with a knife and fork.)

Through contact with family members, carers and other children (most likely to be siblings), the child learns basic norms and values of society. Also, what children learn varies according to social class, religion, ethnicity, and even the area in which they live. The family uses sanctions to encourage/discourage a child’s behaviour. For example, praise is given to children who say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, whereas bad behaviour is treated with negative sanctions, such as depriving children from what they enjoy, or being put on the ‘naughty step’.

Marxist theory: the family socialises children to comply with the unjust Bourgeoisie/Proletariat class system, commonly known as the ruling and working class. So whilst more affluent families educate their children to accept power and authority, the poorer families teach theirs to accept their role in the inferior class.

Feminist Theory: many feminists argue that the family reinforces gender roles through sanctions. They believe that parents are stricter with girls, which teaches them to be more obedient, while boys’ misbehaviours are largely ignored, brushing it off with language like ‘boys will be boys’. The feminist Ann Oakley points out that gender roles are introduced at an early age through dress code and toys. For instance, the girl is encouraged to wear pink and play with dolls and toy kitchens, whereas the boys are encouraged the wear blue and play with toy cars and action figures.


School is an agent of secondary socialisation which teaches pupils the norms and values of society in a formal and informal setting.

(Formal – meaning ‘proper’, or official. In context with this subject, formal education means curriculum-based subjects, which includes geography, Welsh, maths, etc.)

(Informal – meaning ‘improper’, or unofficial. Again, in context with this subject, informal education includes the ‘hidden curriculum’ –a student subconsciously picks up of the way a teacher may act or dress, which influences them to act in a certain way).

Pupils are sanctioned by using formal and informal social control. Formal social control is generally written through school rules, and when they are broken, official sanctions are applied, i.e. expulsion, detention. If a pupil is especially noted for good behaviour or achievements, official sanctions, in this case, could possibly consist of special privileges, praise assemblies etc.

Informal social control is essentially sanctioning, but with fewer, if any, consequences. For example, a pupil is taught that speaking in class is wrong through a verbal warning by a teacher. In the same way, good behaviour is encouraged by a nod of approval from a teacher.

Generally speaking, it is argued that formal social control has a bigger impact on the pupil’s education, yet informal social control still plays an essential part in influencing the pupil into a particular lifestyle and culture.

Lastly, school educates people on an intellectual level, in contrast to the family, who teaches it on an emotional level.

Peer groups

Peer groups consists of members with similar backgrounds or attributes. They tend to live in the same area and attend the same schools, which proves that peer groups can play a fundamental role on socialisation because they usually spend a great deal of time together.

The most obvious and well-known associated term would be ‘peer pressure’, meaning the the individual is under pressure to look and act in a certain way in order to be socially accepted by their peers. Rejection as a sanction is usually enforced when that member fails to conform to peer pressure.

Evans and Chandler once stated that peer pressure influences children to want the latest items, like Iphones and other expensive gadgets.

Often, peer groups can form subcultures that have norms and values that differ from mainstream society. Paul Willis’s study of working-class boys from London showed that they tended to form a ‘Lad-culture’ that rejected the ‘unfair’ class system and created alternative coping strategies to deal with educational failure, for instance, misbehaviour in class. So essentially, a person’s self-esteem, background or ideologies can influence which peer group they are attracted to, whether they have a negative or positive effect on that individual.

The workplace

Paid employment is a term that will play a significant role in nearly every person’s lives in our society. When a worker is new to a particular job, he/she must learn to conform to its norms, values and rules, or face (in)formal sanctions. This process is called re-socialisation.

Mass media

The mass media is a very prominent agency within society. Ranging from music, the internet, television, radio, magazines, newspapers and film, it allows mass communication and globalisation from all corners of the earth. As a result of the mass media being so large, it can influence and socialise people in more ways than any other social agency.

The mass media tends to focus on the distribution of role models that can have a positive and negative effect on the way males and females think and act. Bad role models, such as Kim Kardashian, can teach girls and boys to favour their looks and to destroy their self-esteem when they compare their lives to the (unrealistic) ones of the celebrities they admire.

The mass media also teaches social norms. For instance, the media tends to condemn murderers, which subconsciously teaches that it’s wrong and undesirable to copy it. Then again, especially with the popularity with gaming, games like GTA can potentially influence people to act in a negative way. For instance, the Norwegian serial killer, Anders Breivik, was allegedly playing hours and hours of violent video games before committing his atrocious crimes. On the other hand, some dispute that video gaming was no catalyst for his actions. Anders Breivik is rightfully demonised by the media, which reinforces the point that the mass media can influence one’s moral values.