Essay - Comparing/contrasting Theories of Criminal Behavior Rational Choice Theory Compared to...


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Comparing/contrasting theories of criminal behavior

Rational Choice Theory compared to Labeling and Radical theories

The Rational Choice ***** of the causes of criminal behavior is essentially based on ***** assumpti***** that criminals rationally make decisions that motivate ***** lead them ***** commit criminal acts. Rational theory emphasizes individual choice and the personal decision-making process in an attempt to underst***** the causes ***** crime. The strength of this *****ory is that it focuses on the ***** and on his or her logical and rational decisions ***** attain certain goals. "According to Felson and Clarke (1998), the rational choice perspective ***** upon the offender's decision-making. Its main ********** is ***** offending is purposive *****, designed to benefit the offender in some way." (Rational Choice Perspective)

*****refore this *****ory differs from other theories of crim*****al behavior such as Labeling Theory in that it focuses on pers*****al ***** *****dividual concerns rather than outside factors. In effect the theory involves viewing the causes of crime in terms of an analysis that looks at the costs and benefits of the decision ***** ***** person *****s. It is also characterized by an analysis that attempts to see the ***** from the criminal's viewpoint.

Rational choice *****orizing in crim*****ology is really quite down to earth, trying to ***** the world from the offender's perspective. It seeks to understand how the offender makes crime **********, driven by a particular motive within a specific setting, which offers ***** opportunities to sat*****fy that motive. Rational choice ***** has an image of the offender who thinks before he acts, even if only for a moment, taking in***** account some ***** *****d ***** in *****ting the offence. (The ***** ***** Perspective: The Home Office, 1988)

The theory of ***** choice is based on the work of early classical theorists such as Jeremy Bentham and their views of human behavior which emphasized the following aspects:

*****) The human being is a rational actor, (2) Rationality involves an end/means calculation, (3) People (freely) choose all *****, both conforming and deviant, based on their ***** calculations, (4) The central element of calculation involves a cost benefit *****nalysis: Pleasure versus Pain, (5) Choice, with all other conditions equal, will be directed towards the maximization of individual pleasure, (6) Choice can be controlled through ***** perception and understanding ***** the potential pain or punishment ***** ***** follow an act judged to ***** in violation of the social good, ***** social contract. (Keel, R. 2004)

This theoretical standpoint is ***** on other assumpti*****s about human behavior. These include the following: *****s are essenti*****y goal ***** and act with purpose; they have hierarchical needs and preferences and make choices according to this hierarchy of *****. (Turner Jonathan, 1991)

The theory ***** rational choice also acknowledges that there are various constraints and mitigating factors involved when analyzing the causes of crime in ***** of human *****ity. ***** ***** factors ***** need to be considered within the broad overall theoretical framework. RCT or Rational ***** Theory involves decision-making which can *****..."constrained by

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