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

***** t***** theory differs from other theories of crim*****al ***** such as Labeling ***** in that it focuses on ***** ***** *****dividual c*****cerns rather than outside fac*****rs. 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 that the person makes. It is also characterized by an analysis ***** attempts to see the ***** 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 *****. It *****ks to understand how the offender makes crime choices, driven ***** a particular motive within a specific setting, which offers ***** opportunities to sat*****fy that motive. Rational choice theory has an image of the ********** who thinks before he *****, even if only for a moment, t*****king in***** account some ***** and ***** in ********** t***** offence. (The Rational Choice Perspective: The Home Office, 1988)

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

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

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

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

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