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 criminal behavior is essentially based on the assumption 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***** the causes ***** 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 ***** 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)

T*****efore this ********** differs from other ***** of crim*****al ***** such as Labeling Theory in ***** it focuses on personal and individual concerns 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 benef*****s of the decision ***** ***** person makes. It is also characterized by an analysis th***** attempts to see the crime from the criminal's viewpoint.

Rational choice theorizing in crim*****ology is really quite down to earth, trying ***** ***** the world from the offender's perspective. It seeks to understand how the offender makes crime *****s, driven by a particular motive within a specific setting, which offers ***** opportunities to satisfy 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 benefits *****d costs in ********** t***** offence. (The Rational ***** Perspective: The Home Office, 1988)

The ***** of rational choice is based on the work of early classical theor*****ts ***** as Jeremy Bentham and their views of human behavior ***** emph*****ized 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 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 the perception ***** understanding ***** the potential pain or punishment ***** ***** follow an act judged to be in violation of ***** social good, the social contract. (Keel, R. **********)

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

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

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