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 ***** behavior is essentially based on the assumpti***** that criminals rationally make decisions that motivate and lead them ***** commit criminal acts. Rational 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 ***** ***** and on his or her logical and rational decisions ***** attain certain goals. "According to Felson ***** Clarke (1998), the rational choice perspective ***** upon the *****fender's decision-making. Its main *****on is that offending is purposive *****, designed ***** benefit the offender in some way." (Rational Choice Perspective)

T*****efore t***** theory differs from other ***** of crim*****al behavior such as Labeling Theory in ***** it focuses on personal and *****dividual concerns rather than outside factors. In effect the theory involves viewing the causes of crime in terms of an *****alys***** that looks at the costs ***** benef*****s of the decision ***** the person makes. It is also characterized by an analysis that attempts to see the crime ***** the criminal's viewpoint.

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

The theory of ***** 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 rational actor, (2) *****ity involves an end/means calculation, (3) People (freely) choose all behavior, both conforming and deviant, based on their rational calculations, (4) The central element of calculation ***** a cost benefit *****: Ple*****sure 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 of the potential pain or pun*****hment ***** ***** follow an act judged to be in violation of the social good, the social contract. (Keel, R. **********)

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

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

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