Essay - Comparing/contrasting Theories of Criminal Behavior Rational Choice Theory Compared to...


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Comparing/contrasting theories of criminal behavior

***** Choice Theory compared to Labeling and Radical theories

The Rational Choice Theory of the causes of ***** behavior is essentially based on the assumpti***** that criminals rationally make decisions that motivate and lead them to commit criminal acts. ***** theory emphasizes individual choice and the personal decision-making process in an attempt to understand the causes of crime. The strength of this theory is ***** 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 assumption is that offending is purposive behavior, designed ***** benefit the offender in some way." (Rational Choice Perspective)

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

Rational choice theorizing in criminology is really quite down to earth, trying to ***** the world from the ***** perspective. It seeks to understand how ***** offender makes crime choices, driven ***** a particular motive within a specific setting, which offers the opportunities to satisfy that motive. Rational choice ***** has an image of ***** offender who thinks before he acts, even if only for a moment, taking in***** account some ***** and costs in committing t***** offence. (The ***** ***** 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 which 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 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 ***** ********** ***** the potential pain or punishment that will follow an act judged to ***** in violation of ***** social good, the social contract. (Keel, R. *****004)

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

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

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