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Routine Activities Theory

analytical Essay
1788 words
1788 words
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There are many definitions to theory. According to Akers (2009) “theories are tentative answers to the commonly asked questions about events and behavior” (Akers, (2009, p. 1). Theory is a set of interconnect statements that explain how two or more things are related in two casual fashions, based upon a confirmed hypotheses and established multiple times by disconnected groups of researchers.

There are six elements that make a theory sound. These elements are scientific criteria that provide whether or not the theories are scientific. The most important of these elements is empirical validity, which uses evidence to confirm or disprove a theory and have criteria for interpreting data as factual, irregular or unrelated. The other major elements include internal logical consistency, scope and parsimony, testability, and usefulness and policy implication. A theory must be logically consistent. In order to be so, it must have clearly defined concepts, have logically stated and internally consistent propositions. If a theory contains pointless ideas or is inconsistent, it can't really explain anything. Scope refers to the assortment of events that it propositions to explain. Parsimony is used to describe the concepts and propositions as to whether they are concise or abstract. Scope and Parsimony are interrelated. A scientific theory must be able to be tested by objective, repeatable evidence, but not against empirical findings. In order to assess the value of the theory, its usefulness for effective policy implications are evaluated. (Akers, 2009, p. 5-11)

Routine Activities Theory includes elements from deterrence and rational choice theories. Routine Activity Theory provides a simple and influential imminent into the sources of ...

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...n numbers; 5) improving natural surveillance through provision of public street lights, trimming of hedges, and putting up fences that do not obstruct visibility (Akers, 2009, p. 42).

Based upon the evidence provided on the six elements of a good theory, the Routine Activities Theory is a sound theory. These elements provide that the theory is scientific. The theory has brought together its three elements to help determine why crime occurs. Through research by multiple detached researchers, its hypotheses have been confirmed through tests and empirical evidence.

Works Cited

Akers, R, & Sellers, C. (2009). Criminological theories: introduction, evaluation, and application. New York: Oxford University Press, USA.

Cohen, L. E. & Felson, M. (1979). “Social change and crime rate trends: A routine activities approach,” American Sociological Review 44:588-608.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that theory is a set of interconnect statements that explain how two or more things are related in two casual fashions.
  • Explains the six elements that make a theory sound, including empirical validity, scope and parsimony, testability, and usefulness and policy implication.
  • Explains that routine activities theory provides a simple and influential imminent into the sources of crime problems.
  • Explains that routine activities theory has four basic elements, time, place, objects, and persons, which are placed into three main categories of variables.
  • Explains that the founders, lawrence cohen and marcus felson defined routine activities as recurrent and prevalent activities that provide for basic population and individual needs.
  • Explains that cohen and felson developed this theory to explain trends in crime rates. they believe that changes in routine activities in recent years leave a large number of homes left alone during the day and night and place people in reasonably unguarded environments.
  • Explains that the routine activities theory is a logically consistent theory. cohen and felson defined the concepts they used, and the proposals they hoped to convey.
  • Explains that routine activities theory can be useful to many types of studies and crimes including homicides, hot spots of crime, property and violent crimes, natural disasters and even internet crimes. the theory does have some flaws.
  • Analyzes how the routine activities theory demonstrates parsimony by blaming victims for crimes committed against them.
  • Explains that the theory is testable because it can be used in many different studies. cohen, kluegal, and land renamed it the "opportunity" theory and tested its propositions with data from the national crime victimization surveys.
  • Argues that routine activities influence crime rates by disturbing the union in time and space of the three elements necessary for a crime to occur: motivated offenders, suitable targets, and the absence of guardians.
  • Analyzes the empirical validity of the routine activities theory using the study by sherman, gartin, and buerger.
  • Explains that routine activities theory has been useful to implement policies, while crime prevention through environmental design (cpted) helps with precautions against crime. there is no research reported by felson on designs, site location, lighting, and other methods to deter crime
  • Opines that routine activities theorists should propose policies that encourage people to take reasonable and prudent precautions.
  • Explains that the routine activities theory is a sound theory based on evidence provided on the six elements of good theory. the theory has brought together its three elements to determine why crime occurs.
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