Emile Durkeim, rational choice theory, Sykes and Matza

Chelsea Tirado Professor Lay Intro To Criminal Justice 4:30-5:45 1. Emile Durkeim believed that deviance and or crime was a normal thing to do. He believed it to be a second nature. According to the textbook, he first noted that all human societies have crime, even if there is differences in terms of what acts are criminalized. He also saw that crime would not occur only if every single being in society agreed not to commit a bad act. This would not work because of all the human diversity in the world.
Kai Erickson believes that deviant acts are considered along a norm that was violated. One function of deviance is to maintain control in socities. According to the textbook, Erickson states that each deviant act, the community has an opportunity to reflect on deviance and decide whether the boundaries of acceptable behavior should be strengthened, kept the same, or relaxed. Erickson and Durkheim’s views are both similar and different. Erickson’s view has more of a psychology base, meanwhile Durkheim’s view is a bit more straightforward. 2.
According to the textbook, the rational choice theory is defined as an explanation for crime suggesting that offenders use a strategic thinking process to valuate the potential rewards and risks from committing a crime and make their decision accordingly about whether or not to commit the crime. It is a modern version of classical criminology using free will as a philosophical base. In shorter words, when a criminal commits a crime, they have a decision process that goes through their head of both how to commit the crime, and the consequences if caught.

When a criminal goes through the rational choice, they may also be deterred from committing the crime all together. According to the textbook, the routine activities theory is defined as a theory that views crime and victimization as a unction of peoples everyday behavior, habits, lifestyle, living conditions, and social interactions. This theory suggests that crime occurs when three elements converge” a motivated offender, a suitable target, and a lack of capable guardians.
In shorter words, the routine activities theory explains that offenders are pretty much set in their ways. These two theories are both alike, but mostly different. The rational choice theory suggests that a criminal goes through more of a thinking process as opposed to the routine activities theory that suggests that crime and victimization is a part of behavior. 4. Gresham Sykes and David Matza have a technique that is practiced with neutralization. Offenders learn to ignore social values and morals which in turn they commit a crime.
Sykes and Matza came up with five techniques that may neutralize norms, and social values. The first one is denial of responsibility. According to this technique, criminals will tend to defer the fault from themselves. The second one is the denial of injury. The denial of injury is when a criminal will reason that the victim wasn’t greatly harmed so it shouldn’t be a big deal. The third one is denial of the victim. This means that even though the criminal accepts guilt for ondemnation of the condemners.
Condemnation of the condemners means that a criminal will reason with themselves that most people do the illegal act. The criminal’s reasoning would be, “But everyone does it! ” The fifth one is appeal to higher loyalties. This means that the offender was inflicted with a decision between violating the law and violating a trust. For example, this means that a family member, or friend may have requested that the criminal drives drunk to them because they need a ride home. Instead of violating the trust between the family member or friend, the offender will violate the law instead.

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