Essay: Choice theory-the fastest growing theory
Choice theories are among the fastest growing theories in social science today. Many sociologists and political scientists defend the claim that rational choice theory can provide the basis for a unified and comprehensive theory of social behavior. What distinguishes rational choice theory from other forms of theory is that it denies the existence of any kinds of action other than the purely rational and calculative. All social action can be seen as rationally motivated, as instrumental action, however much of it may appear to be irrational or non-rational. Choice Theory would be most beneficial in the reduction or control of crime.
According to the Choice Theory, law-violating behavior should be viewed as an event that occurs when an offender decides to risk violating the law after considering his or her own personal situation (need for money, personal values, learning experiences) and the subsequent consequences. Other factors a potential criminal would consider includes: how well a target is protected, how affluent the neighborhood is and how efficient the local police happen to be. Before choosing to commit a crime, the reasoning criminal evaluates the risk of apprehension, the seriousness of the expected punishment, the value of the criminal enterprise, and his or her immediate need for criminal gain (Erwin, 2003).