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

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

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

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

1) The human being is a rati*****al actor, (2) Rationality involves an end/means calculation, (3) People (freely) choose all *****, both conforming and deviant, based on their rational calculations, (4) The central element of calculation involves 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 the perception and understanding ***** the potential pain or punishment that ***** follow an act judged to ***** in violation of ***** social good, the social contract. (Keel, R. 2004)

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

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

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