Emile Durkeim, rational choice theory, Sykes and Matza
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 evaluate 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 function of peoples everyday behavior, habits, lifestyle, living conditions, and social interactions. This theory suggests that crime occurs