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

********** t***** theory differs from ot***** theories of criminal behavior such as Labeling ***** in that it focuses on pers*****al and individual 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 ***** benefits of the decision that the person makes. It is also characterized by an analysis ***** attempts to see the crime ***** the *****'s viewpoint.

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

The theory of rational choice is based on the work of early classical theor*****ts 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 ***** rational calculations, (4) The central element of calculation ***** a cost benefit analys*****: Pleasure versus Pain, (5) Choice, with all other conditions equal, will be directed towards the maximization of individual pleasure, (6) ***** can be controlled through ***** perception and understanding of the potential pain or punishment ***** will follow an act judged to ***** in violation of ***** social good, the social contract. (Keel, R. 2004)

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

The theory 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. ***** ***** factors that need to be considered within the broad over***** ***** framework. RCT or Rational Choice Theory involves decision-making which can be..."constrained by

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