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 *****

The Rational Choice Theory of the causes of ***** behavior is essentially based on the 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 understand the causes of crime. The strength of this ***** is ***** it focuses on ***** individual and on his or her logical ***** rational decisions to attain certain goals. "According to Felson and Clarke (1998), the rational choice perspective focuses upon the *****fender's decision-making. Its main assumption is that offending is purposive behavior, designed to benefit the offender in some way." (Rational Choice Perspective)

*****refore t***** ********** differs from ot***** theories of crim*****al ***** such as Labeling ***** in ***** it focuses on ***** ***** *****dividual concerns rather than outside fac*****rs. In effect the theory involves viewing the causes of crime in terms of an *****alys***** 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 ***** the criminal's viewpoint.

Rational choice *****orizing in criminology is really quite down to earth, trying to ***** the world from the offender's *****. ***** seeks to understand how ***** offender makes crime *****s, driven ***** a particular motive within a specific setting, which offers the opportunities to sat*****fy that motive. Rational choice ***** has an image of ***** *****fender who thinks before he acts, even if only for a moment, t*****king in***** account some benefits and costs in committing t***** offence. (The ***** Choice 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 ***** emphasized the following aspects:

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

This theoretical st*****dpoint is based on other *****s about human behavior. *****se include the following: *****s are essentially goal directed and act with purpose; they have hierarchical needs and preferences and make choices according to this hierarchy of needs. (Turner Jona*****, 1991)

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


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