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Rational Choice Theory And The Reasoning Criminal - Term Paper Example

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Cornish and Clarke’s interest in the strategic thinking of lawbreakers led them to develop a new approach to study crime. The paper "Rational Choice Theory And The Reasoning Criminal" explains the rational choice theory, and to investigate how the theory supports Neal Shover’s research…
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Rational Choice Theory And The Reasoning Criminal
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Download file to see previous pages Neal Shover defines persistent thieves as those who are “distinguished by persistence at common-law property crimes despite their, at best, ordinary level of success” (Shover xiii). All persistent thieves have at least one adult conviction for robbery, burglary, or theft, but they habitually return to committing crime after serving time. Failing to learn their lesson, persistent thieves commit crime over a period of several years, consequently serving multiple jails or prison terms. Their crimes, though the approach to explaining crime has helped several social scientists in disciplines studying criminal behavior. The various approaches drawn from several disciplines assume that much offending is rational in nature, and the criminal uses reasoning and decision making to undertake criminal activities such as stealing, robbery, burglary, or other forms of thieving. At the same time, however, the thieves were found to have differing concepts, aims, preoccupations, and terminologies; consequently, it was difficult to estimate the extent to which they shared common factors. Further, synthesizing the insights provided by the different disciplines to comprehensively and satisfactorily represent criminal behavior was important.
Cornish and Clarke (1) suggested the Rational Choice Theory perspective on criminal behavior as the synthesis taking into account all the essential aspects. This theory is aimed at locating criminological findings within a framework specifically suitable for policy-relevant research. The rational choice theory starts with the assumption that offenders pursue their own benefit through criminal behavior; this employs decision making and choices, which may sometimes be merely rudimentary; and that “these processes exhibit a measure of rationality, albeit constrained by limits of time and ability and the availability of relevant information” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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