Blue Suit: Routine Activities Theory and the Deterrence Theory - Argumentative Essay Example

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University of California, Santa Barbara
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Argumentative essay
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Sometimes life becomes a question of surviving. The middle life Rayner has a growing up story. He embarks on a serious life of deceptions and thefts while he is a student at Cambridge University in England. After his student days: shoplifting, check forgery, and burglary included. All these are acts of crime which even to today, are happening in the societies we are living in. this has a lot to do with the criminology theories because of they all purpose on passing a common understanding of concepts of crime. Richard Rayners The Blue Suit has a relationship with the Routine activities theory and the deterrence theory. They are exceptional theories and which are much helpful in understanding the Richard Rayners The Blue Suit. They create a platform for going about explaining the behavior that Rayner has.

The routine activity theory pays much attention to the situations of crimes. Lawrence E. Cohen and Marcus Felson developed the theory and stated that social causes such as unemployment, inequality, and poverty effect, not a crime. However, according to them, the reason behind the increase in a crime is the more opportunities for crimes to take place that is offered by the prosperity the contemporary society has. According to them, there is more to steal. There are several types of crimes which include copyright infringement, corporate crime and employee theft due to peer to peer file sharing.

The theory states that the motivated offenders are persons who are not only willing to commit a crime but are capable of doing so. Targets of crime, in this case, include objects or even persons that are vulnerable in the eyes of offenders. Situational and crime specifics are the factors that render targets attractive or vulnerable. The routine activities stress broad-scale shifts especially in the ways of the offender and the victim behavior. The offender behaviors and the decisions he or she makes not to talk about the specific crime events are focused on in routine activity theory. Generally, the theory holds an assumption that anyone can commit a crime as long as there is an opportunity to do so. Additionally, a choice is given to the victims, to stay away from scenes and situations where a crime can end up happening to them.

A number of scholars refute the theory. For instance, among the sociologists, the theory has remained to be controversial because they do have a different belief that social causes lead people to commit a crime. The theory has been noted to have some issues. For instance, a number of criticisms are against the theory because they view it as a macro theory of victimization. According to them, the theory explains not, how offenders are motivated yet it states that offenders need to be motivated. The theory also shows a big difference when compared with a number of criminological theories which pay much focus on giving an explanation as to why commit crimes rather than giving an explanation of what produces criminal events.

The deterrence theory pays much focus on how threats by a single party can be used to convince another party to stop from initiating a course of action. In this case, a threat is what serves as a deterrent in order to ensure that a target is convinced not to continue with an intended action because of losses and even costs that the target would end up incurring. Deterrence policy can be used in broad ways that include prevention of an armed attack against own territory or even state and prevention of an attack on another state. These are the direct and extended deterrence respectively. Such occurs when there is, for instance, territorial dispute or involvement of a greater power. The theory argues that deterrence policies are implemented for purposes of response due to a pressing short-term threat or maybe as a strategy to prevent and stop a military conflict. One cannot consider a successful deterrence policy in only military terms, but also in political terms. The deterrence theory also holds that the use of nuclear weapons helps to deter attacks from other states with their weapons. This is done by promising retaliation and even mutually assured destruction.

A number of criticisms have ended up refuting the theory. It is much criticized due to its assumptions about the opponent rationales. For instance, it has been argued that psychotic or suicidal opponents may entertain not any form of deterrence. Additionally, if two states are the enemy and both of them have nuclear weapons, country Y can end up trying to strike is the first in order to take advantage of launching the weapons of country z. for this reason, country Z will be rendered incapable of any kind of response. The theory has got some issues as well. There exist a lot of opposing political ideologies. This leads to an escalation of threats that are perceived mutually and consequently, an arms race that leads to an elevation of risks of actual war. Movies such as Dr, Strangelove and War Games are good when it comes to the issue of deterrence. The perceived threat can lead to certain measures be inflected by the government on a certain population such as creation of a military-industrial complex, civil liberties restrictions and budget deficits due to an increase in military expenditures.

Conclusively. The routine activities theory work best to explain Rayners behavior, unlike the deterrence theory. The theory is very clear that the organization that a society offers creates opportunities for crime. For instance, Rayner is put in an organization where he has all chances of stealing. For him to be an accomplished bookstore thief, the society that surrounded him allowed him to do so. The school organization is even worse and gives Rayner a good platform to continue stealing. He can comfortably shoplift, forgery, breaking and entering. Rayner is experiencing routines that are exposing him to opportunities of carrying out crimes, and with them, the crimes become easy to carry out and since they are characterized by low risks. The opportunities he is facing put him in a position to continue carrying out acts of crime. Just like the routine activities theory states, the opportunity structures Rayner is facing are a good platform for the crimes he is in.

The routine activities theory is as well more satisfactory because it subjects one to a relevant kind of knowledge of things that can make a person prone to crime. The theory also explains the trends of crime and this leads to a more understanding of how one can prevent cases of crimes not to talk about an exposure of how crimes are distributed across space and time. The theory can, for instance, be used to inform relevant bodies of the happening crime activities and the routines they take. This is unlike the deterrence theory which is much focused on issues of war. It is a theory which has not been proven and will never be proven. The theory also ends up instilling a sense of confidence that is false, requires rational decision makers, its a theory that one cannot choose to believe and its failure can be catastrophic.

Rayner stops to claim his criminal activities. He does so because he has never made any amends to restitution and he fills bad of his past behavior. Rayner has probably come to realize that he is living deceitful life. Rayner also probably needs some years under therapy and he knows how to spin a colorful memoir. The deterrence theory does not support the reasoning Rayner has. However, the routine activity reasoning has a lot to do with the reasoning Rayner has. For one to reason in a certain manner, there must be a conscious make of sense out of things. This is in order to establish and verify facts, apply logic, change and justify practices, and beliefs based on both existing and new information. This is a normal definitive human nature. The routine activity theory has an effect on the way Rayner reasons. The information in it needs cognitive and neural processes which are engaged in the entire concept of reasoning. With the information, Rayner has nothing to do other than to think and reason and this is what probably makes him reflect his criminal past. While at Cambridge University in England he is on serious thefts, after his student days he embarks on shoplifting, checks forgery, and burglary. After his arrest, he goes on and steals a book. All this has to change for the better. The knowledge in the theory exposes him to think critically and he is left with no option other than to change.



Rayner, R. (1996). The blue suit. London: Picador.


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