This paper is a combination of creative writing and research: both are necessary

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create a criminal

use three theories (don't use classical approach)

5 peer reviewed academic research journals (should not predate 2006)

7.5 pages minimum

due May 4, 2017


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· You will use a minimum of five peer reviewed academic research journal articles. These should not predate 2006. · You will create your criminal, provide three theoretical explanations for “your” criminal’s behavior, and then decide the “best fit.” Explain why it is the best fit. In order to explain “best” fit, you must examine the relative strengths and weaknesses of each of the chosen three theories. · You may not use Classical approach. If you use Positivist theories, you must specify which theory you have chosen. · Each article must be discussed within your paper. You should include a discussion of the research, the findings and application of the article to your criminal’s case. You should also evaluate the research as to its effectiveness, logic and methodology. ...
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School: UC Berkeley

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Creation of a Criminal
John XY was arrested for the second time on the 29th of April due to robbery with violence
within his neighborhood. The news of his arrest was not of any surprise in his neighborhood.
So what really led to his criminal habits? XY was born in a ghetto-slum area where drug
peddling was the order of the day. Most parents in the area were low income earners and
were constantly seeking any little task that could result into capital. Unpredictably, XY was
often isolated by the parents in his early childhood years as they sought small hand-to-mouth
jobs. Worse still, the constant financial needs resulted into marital conflict which led his
father into heavy drinking. In time there was little concern of XY’s whereabouts or even
academic follow ups. XY therefore sought solace and company in his neighbors house where
he was introduced to abuse and peddling of drugs. Soon after, he was already in a gang
notwithstanding his adolescent age. It is at this time when he was first arrested for robbery
with violence. He was jailed for a few months and subjected to community service. All
seemed normal until the 29th of April.
Theories
Rational Choice Theory
The Rational Choice Theory (RCT) propagated by Felson and Clarke is a micro level theory
focusing on the offender in which a calculation is made in balancing the costs and benefits of

committing crime (DEREK B. CORNISH, 1987). Therefore, an offender only commits an
offense when there is an expectation of resultant benefit. According to the theory, becoming a
criminal is perceived as a calculated as well as a deliberate choice. The theory argues that all
criminals can be considered rational and always engage in conscious decision making. The
conscious and rational decision making usually seeks to gain paramount benefit from a
specific situation. Further, the theory explains that individuals also become criminals due to
making of decisions centered on limited or bounded rationality. The concept of bounded or
limited rationality is quite intricate. In this case, an individual simplifies a specific decision
on the basis that he or she is finding difficulty in anticipating or evaluating all the alternatives
as well as information regarding a certain situation or act. Bounded rationality revolves
around two aspects; cognitive limitations aspect and an extreme emotional arousal aspect.
The two aspects inevitably lead to difficulty in evaluating alternatives of a certain act, which
in turn results into committing a criminal. However, even though an individual thinks and
deliberately commits the crime in such a case, he or she simplified the decision and
alternatives and did what he thought was of paramount benefit. However, we could argue
that sometimes, the emotional triggers that may lead an individual to committing crime can
be acute, and the only reason he commits are crime is because he is out of control. In such a
case, the issue of rationality is nonexistent.
The Rational Choice Theory also has a big aspect of opportunism. In line with this,
development of a crime can be propelled by opportunity. An individual scrutinizes an
opportunity and consciously thinks about the benefits that could be gained from such an
opportunity. As if not enough, the opportunities that emerge are often dependent or dictated
by an individual’s present surroundings as well as other consequential factors. In general, the
theory addresses development of individuals into being criminals who are inclined to
instrumental crimes as opposed to expressive crimes. The instrument crimes are based on

rational in-depth planning and evaluation of the possible risks. Against this, expressive
crimes are based on emotions and deficiency in rational thinking where an individual does
not scrutinize the future consequences. However, it could be argued that the rational choice
theory downplays the main causes of criminal activities and further undermines social reform
agendas of sociological and criminology.
The application of the theory could be argued out to have been more of a marathon
than a sprint due to constant and gradual criticism of the theory’s assumptions by various
schools of thought. Firstly, scholars have argued that some offenses are mere spontaneous
acts of crime or violence and thus lack any rational beneficial origins. Secondly, criminal
activities are suggested to be seldom rational choices due to the self-defeating nature of them.
This is argued out with an example of criminal activities that lead to an individual’s arrest
and later imprisonment. Thirdly, some criminal activities are not propelled by instrumental
catalysts but rather existential motives, for instance, thrill seeking. Thus, such actions are not
dependent on rational choices. Lastly, criminal activities that are motivated by aggressive
emotional states, also, cannot be canopied under rational choice theory.

General Strain Theory
Most often, philosophical elucidations of an individual’s development into a criminal directly
or indirectly touch on the General Strain Theory. It could be argued as one of the main (if not
the main) theory explain how an individual transforms into a criminal. The theory was
developed by Agnew in 1992 and argued that crime is basically a result of recurrent strain
that individuals in society face every day (Cullen, Wright, & Blevins, 2009). The basic
ideology in this theory is that, extreme strain levels often lead to a greater possibility that an
individual will result into crimes so as to reduce the strain. The theory further argues that,

within a smooth functioning community, crime activities will be minimal as the people in the
society share the same cultural goals and a similar level in the means they individually
achieve the goals. The societal goals may be in the form of material possessions and financial
resources while the means to achieve them may be in the form of education or employment.
A society that does not provide enough facilities or platforms to individuals so that they can
achieve the societal goals may also be devoid of appropriate and acceptable means through
which individuals can achieve their goals. Therefore, there is a lot of strain in such a society
which leads to greater risks of individuals engaging in criminal activities so as to achieve
their objectives. Therefore, an individual can develop into a criminal when he or she is
exposed to either cultural or societal goals that they are not in a position to achieve due to
lack of culturally accepted means and platforms of achieving the objectives. In concise, the
theory has three main strain types that result into criminal behavior: the failure to reach
positively-valued goals, secondly, deprivation of positive stimuli, and lastly, the existence of
negative stimuli.
Differential Association Theory
The differential association theory is based on the associations engages from childhood.
According to the theory, an individual is at a higher risk of deviating from the positive
societal norms when he or she recurrently associates with individuals who favor deviance as
opposed to conformity (Link, 2014). According to the theory, the differential association
habitually results into criminal activities especially when an individual engages in numerous
regular, intense and long lasting interactions with people who violate regulations, that is,
criminals. The reverse perspective in this theory is that, when an individual refrains from
negative differential associations with people with criminal-like behavior, there will be a very
minimal chance that they will develop into criminals. However, when most factors favor
violation or rules and regulations as opposed to factors opposing violations, then the person is

more inclined to develop into a criminal. This is evident in neighborhoods with gangs or drug
peddlers whereby the ties to the deviant individual is considered to be of paramount
importance, especially where standing up for one another is pivotal is establishing and
retaining power in the presence of competitors or opposition. However, the theory is vastly
criticized by scholars who argue that the theory inadequately assesses the probable ties
between social inequalities and criminal behaviors.
Life Course Theory
The life course theory was developed by Sampson and Laud in 1993. The theory is an
attempt to elucidate origin of criminal behaviors from the beginning of childhood, and either
persisting or desisting as an individual progresses into adulthood (Cullen, Wright, & Blevins,
2009). The theory argues that there is an early onset of delinquent behavior and continuation
of criminal behavior within the life course of an individual. The life developmental-based
theory focuses on how criminal behavior as well as antisocial habits develops. Theory further
evaluates the risk factors that emerge at different stages and ages in life and the impact of life
events on the life course of individuals. The risks factors addressed by the theory may
include: inadequate income, parents who are criminals, bad and morally corrupt
neighborhoods, delinquent peers, poor supervision by guardian, disoriented family units,
criminal opportunities, erratic child upbringing and emotional issues such as anger and
impulsiveness.
The Life Course theory is revolves are three pivotal concepts: first, the origins of delinquent
behavior in adolescents, secondly, impact of delinquent as well as antisocial habits in
adolescents and thirdly, the explanation or link between adult crime and the stated social
bonds and habits. Accordingly, the theory argues that delinquent behavior in adolescents is a
result of informal social influences that are propelled by family or school issues. For instance,

delinquent behavior can result from not disciplining, monitoring or just creating an
attachment with the adolescent. The theory argues that delinquency is a result of social
controls, thus an adolescent who is not subject to any social control will most likely develop
into a criminal. In addition to this, the theory intertwines the delinquent adolescent behaviors
with adult criminal activities. It argues that childhood misbehavior often tends to result into
negative consequences in adulthood. For instance, when a child or adolescent is exposed to a
family where education is not guaranteed, and there are marital conflicts, financial struggles
and unemployment, there is a high risk of development of adult criminal behavior as well as
antisocial habits. Therefore, the theory suggests that criminal acts can be decreased by
strengthening of the social controls.

Discussions
There are vast discussions that are attached to these theories that attempt to explain the
development of a criminal. Clarke, (2012) contributes to the concept presented in rational
c...

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awesome work thanks

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