Process of deviancy amplification
This process, (developed by Leslie Wilkins) shows the result of labelling and stereotyping. When society defines groups of people as deviant, people tend to react against them and isolate them from the company of “normal” people. The groups, once isolated, develop their own norms and values, which leads to further isolation. The pattern, however, is not inevitable.
Young shows how the process worked in the case of the drug takers and how the stereotypes became reality.
As police action increased - isolated them. It became less possible for them to re-enter wider society and deviance is more likely to increase away from society.
Drug taking becomes more secretive and more important as it becomes the symbol of their difference. Young suggests that as it becomes more secretive, the effects of the drugs are magnified.
As action against all drug takers rise, the marijuana smoker and the heroin addict may begin to feel a common identity.
As action intensifies, the price of drugs rises and the professional pusher and the criminal underworld become interested in the profits.