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


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Comparing/contrasting theories of criminal behavior

***** Choice Theory compared to Labeling and Radical *****

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

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

Rational choice theorizing in crim*****ology is really quite down to earth, trying ***** ***** the world from the offender's perspective. ***** seeks to understand how ***** offender makes crime choices, driven by a particular motive within a specific setting, which offers the opportunities to sat*****fy that motive. Rational choice ***** has an image of ***** ********** who thinks before he *****, even if only for a moment, taking in***** account some ***** *****d ***** in *****ting t***** offence. (The ***** Choice Perspective: The Home Office, 1988)

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

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

This theoretical standpoint is based on other ********** about human behavior. These include the *****: humans are essenti*****y goal directed and act with purpose; they have hierarchical needs and preferences and make ***** according to th***** hierarchy of needs. (Turner Jona*****, 1991)

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

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