Jock Young’s study ‘The Drugtakers’ gives us an example of an amplification spiral. He shows how the interactions between a group of hippies and the police produce more crime rather than less. Although the hippies’ drug-taking is initially low, media pressure leads the police to target them.

This gradually makes the hippies more secretive about their activities and drug-taking becomes a more important part of their identity. The hippies and the police become increasingly distrustful of each other, and the hippies’ deviance becomes amplified until the statistics become a ‘crime wave’.

Study the contents of each of the boxes below. Together they form an amplification spiral, showing the various stages of the process of deviancy amplification described by Young.

Put the boxes into the correct order, showing the different steps of this process of amplification. You may find it helpful to print and cut them out so that you can move them around.

When you have finished (not before!) click here to download the answer

Based on this stereotype, the police start to act against
hippies to control marihuana use. (A)
The hippies develop a deviant self-concept, including distinctive clothes and long hair. (B) A common stereotype of drug-takers is established by the mass media. (C)
Police arrest more hippies on drug charges. (D) A fantasy crime wave has been produced because of the increase in arrests for drug-taking.(E) The drug squad now become involved in further arrests of hippies for drug-taking. (F)
This reinforces the police stereotype and leads to more persecution of the hippies. (G) The police share this common stereotype of hippies and label them as deviant. (H) Hippies use marihuana as a peripheral part of their lifestyle. (I)
J. Drug-taking now becomes a central activity for the hippy culture. K. The hippies respond to this action by retreating into a small isolated group, excluding others.