General Strain Theory

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To begin with, when dealing with criminology, there are numerous of different theories that explains the causations of crime. The two I chose from the book are rational choice theory and general strain theory. I chose these specific theories because I believe that they balance of each other. For example, rational choice theory is weighing the cost and benefits of criminal acts. On the other hand, general strain is the disadvantage of lower class which may cause them to commit criminal acts; which leads to rational or irrational choices. I know for me, there were times I thought about doing some illegal acts just to get by but then I thought about the possibility of going to jail and I quickly came to my senses. No matter what people may think,…show more content…
A way to turn people away from crimes, especially teens is to punish them the first time and not give them a slap on the wrist. If this is done, they’ll think twice about doing it again. In my opinion, rational choice and general strain answers the question, why do people commit crimes? Rational choice theory was developed by Cesare Beccaria, which is viewed as a process in which a person has to weigh the pros and cons of a criminal act and to decide if the risk worth the reward. According to Criminology: The Core (2014) “Offenders choose crime after considering both personal factors (such choice and decision making in general, as money, revenge, thrills, and entertainment) and situational factors (such as target availability, security measures, and police presence).” When discussing rational choice, we have to talk about WHY people commit crimes and the specific decision is made, rather good or bad; we have to examine all the elements. There are people in this world that rather risk going to jail, or getting a bad reputation just because they like the feeling it gives them or just simply too lazy to work for what they want. This element of rational thinking is called…show more content…
“Branch of social structure theory that sees crime as a function of the conflict between people’s goals and the means available to obtain them.” (Criminology: The Core pg. 142) Growing up in the south, I seen a lot of my peers give up on their goals because they felt that they couldn’t make it and turned to the life of crime. There are numerous of elements that could explain the causation of crime when it comes to the strain theory. What comes to mind when you think of lower class or “the projects”? Maybe welfare? Inner city schools? Violence? I know when I think of lower class, all of those that I mention comes to mind. Stress can take a toll on a person and being in the lower class neighborhood doesn’t make it any better. One feels that it’s a rational choice to go commit a criminal act just to get ahead or accomplish their goals that they felt was impossible. Money is the root of all evil; I say that because money leads to power, which leads to respect from your peers and a high status. It only makes sense that money causes a strain on a lot of people. They feels as if they don’t have the money, then they won’t get power or the proper respect from the people around them. I feel that anyone can accomplish whatever goal they desire; it’s all about what a person chooses to accept in life. One can adapt to the social standards they were given or make a change and go after that “American Dream”

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