Please weigh in or this issue and refute a classmate's position within one or two threads above yours with an alternate theory including the central premise with an explanation of why that theory may better explain offending behavior. You may use any one of the theories we have studied such as the rational choice theory, the anomie, or general strain theory and more Here’s is what my classmate wrote: Classical criminology explains that crime is a result of nature. The positivist school of thought argues that there are biological, psychological, and social factors that influenced crime (Cullen, Agnew, and Wilcox, 2014). As a Sociology major, I have to side with the positivist ideology as an explanation for crime in most cases. A prominent theory that explains society's impact on crime is Merton's Strain/Anomie theories. The basic premise of strain theory is that there are stressors that are imposed by society and pressure from these stressors result in crime. People are pressured to obtain things like a good job, a house, and a family. According to Merton, crime reduces strain. When people have nothing in their lives to look forward to, they may resort to a life of crime (Merton, 1938). There are legitimate and illegitimate ways to obtain these conventional goals, and crime falls under the umbrella of illegitimacy. This creates innovators and retreatists who may comit crime as a means to obtain what they want. Many crimes can be explained by this theory. For example, if someone wants money but they do not want to work for it, they simply steal it. This is just one insnace of Merton's theory at work. #80315265 Remember what you wrote? 10:57 PM Me YES 10:57 PM #80315265 Classical versus Positivist Criminology Both the classical and positivist approaches to criminology have played a significant role in dealing with criminal punishment and crime at large. Both theories intend to address criminal behavior efficiently. I concur with the discords articulated by the proponents of positivist perspective. I presume that crime is a behavior. As such, human behavior is conditioned and not necessarily inherent or genetically acquired. This account elucidates the reason why some individuals are more prone to criminal activities than others. Criminal behavior emanates from the worldview in which an individual is inculcated with by virtue of being a member of a certain community. For instance, individuals living in the low-income areas are more vulnerable to engage in criminal activities than individuals brought up in financially stable societies. Poverty can force an individual to do crime with the intent of acquiring his or her primary needs. It should be understood that some of the gangs have been attributed to the loss of hope and positivity in life. Unemployment is a significant factor and has contributed immensely to the continued increase in the criminal activities across many countries around the globe. This assertion has been expounded by Robert King Merton in his strain theory who asserted that social structures may force an individual to engage in criminal activities. According to king therefore crime should be approached from an open-minded point of view. When analyzing the concept of crime, therefore, it is important to consider the forces that contribute to an individual’s engagement in particular. This is the position held by the positivist criminology. The purpose of positivist criminology is to rehabilitate and transform individuals to become better people in the society. The reasoning behind the approach is that criminals need to be given a chance to reform and not necessarily to be condemned and sent to jail where they are exposed to punitive expeditions including the death sentence.

Debate my classmates’ discussion
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Debate my classmates’ discussion
Crime remains a highly controversial issue in human history. While various scholars have come up with theories and approaches to elucidate criminal behavior, the complexity of this issue continues to intensify. In my classmate’s account for criminal behavior, crime emanates from biological, social and psychological factors. As such, my classmate’s argues that crime is influenced by certain factors and that it does not happen in a vacuum. In the discussion, he goes ahead to stipulate that Merton’s strain theory best explains the causes of criminal behavior.
However, I find the postulations of strain theory as asserted by my classmate inadequate to account for the complex nature of criminal behavior. According to the strain theory, people use crime as a shortcut to achieve their objectives. I find this explanation a mere excuse as to why people engage in criminal activities. To me, everybody should be accountable for his or her actions. In a society that allows people to express their free will, engaging in crime is a choice that an individual makes. As such, the rational choice theory offers a better and concise framework for criminal behavior.
According to the rational choice theory, the human behavior depends on the decision and choices that people make (McClennen, 2010). Crime is a social behavior and results from methodological individualism. The society provides individuals with social preferences, and therefore it is upon the individual to make a rational choice on the kind of preferences that he or she wishes to follow. Crime is; therefore, an option that society members have the free will on whether to engage in it or not. The social stressors articulated in the strain theory are therefore inadequate since no any social variable can force an individual to engage in crime and as such the rational choice theory completely refutes the discords of the strain theory.

McClennen, E. (2010). Rational Choice and Moral Theory. Ethical Theory And Moral Practice, 13(5), 521-540.

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