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 criminal behavior is essentially based on the assumption 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 ***** crime. The strength of this ***** is that it focuses on ***** individual and on his or her logical ***** rational decisions to attain certain goals. "According to Felson and Clarke (1998), the rational choice perspective focuses upon the *****fender's decision-making. Its main ***** is ***** offending is purposive *****, designed ***** benefit the offender in some way." (Rational Choice Perspective)

*****refore th***** ********** differs from other ***** of criminal behavior such as Labeling ***** in that it focuses on ***** and individual concerns rather than outside factors. In effect the theory involves viewing the causes of crime in terms of an analysis that looks at the costs ***** benefits of the decision ***** ***** person *****s. It is also characterized by an analysis th***** 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. 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 theory has an image of the offender who thinks before he *****, even if only for a moment, taking in***** account some ***** and costs in committing t***** offence. (The Rational ***** 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 ***** emphasized the following aspects:

1) 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 ***** calculations, (4) The central element of calculation involves a cost benefit *****: Pleasure versus Pain, (5) Choice, with all other conditions equal, will be directed towards the maximization of individual pleasure, (6) ***** can be controlled through the perception and understanding of the potential pain or pun*****hment that will follow an act judged to ***** in violation of ***** social good, the social contract. (Keel, R. 2004)

This theoretical standpoint is ***** on other assumpti*****s about human behavior. These include the *****: ********** are essenti*****y goal ***** and act with purpose; *****y have hierarchical needs and preferences and make choices according to th***** hierarchy of needs. (Turner Jona*****, 1991)

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

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