The Rational Choice Theory In Gangs And Gangs

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Rational choice theory is the basis of almost all decisions one makes in their life. Starting at a young age kids make choices based off of self-interest, whether it be taking a toy another kid is playing with or asking the other parent for something when the first already said no hoping for an answer they want. Rational choice theory is based on intentional, goal oriented behavior (“Rational Choice Theory” 74). Before making decisions, people consciously and unconsciously weigh the pros and cons of each choice usually opting for the choice that benefits them the most or has the most desired predicted outcome. So why do people commit crimes even though they know they could get into a lot of trouble could go to jail? People enter an interaction…show more content…
Without members the organization evaporates and isn’t active. The root cause of both gangs and terrorism is based off the social identity theory. Although the types of crimes gangs and terrorists commit, they both have a similar recruiting base and style. The people who join gangs are usually lower class citizens who are living in poorly organized communities (McCarthy and Martin 711). They are typically adolescents without a future to look forward to. By joining a gang, members are able to achieve a sense of social order, belonging and a belief that they now have a future (McCarthy and Martin 712). Terrorist recruiters target people with dysfunctional family lives and people who need a belief/religion to follow (Gerwehr and Daly 85). Recruiter “pitches: target specific audiences in order to make joining their terrorist group more appealing (Gerwehr and Daly 74). Benefits such as a place for self-discovery, of social belonging and for “social advancement” are just a few ways lower class citizens are targeted (Gerwehr and Daly 74). Terrorist groups also provide a sense of structure that is not present in the adolescent’s life. Both gang and terrorist recruits are required to prove themselves before they’re allowed membership (Hendrix 47; Turk 1553). While previous offenders of violent crime are sometime preferred, all members are required to complete a task to show their commitment to the organization (McCarthy and Daly 713). The initiation task of a gang member ranges from being beaten by current gang members to assaulting or murdering a rival gang member (McCarthy and Daly 712). Similarly, terrorist initiation includes an act of violent crime to prove commitment such as murdering a police officer (Turk 1553). Once a recruit passes the final step of initiation they are accepted into the group that shares their similar views or life style. Violence is also used to control current

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