Orange Is The New Black: Rational Choice Theory

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Orange is the New Black is an American comedy-drama series that takes place in FCI Danbury, a minimum-security prison. The series started with a 13-episode season, July 11th 2013 on Netflix. The second season had 13 episodes. The third season, 13. On April 15, 2015, the series allegedly producing a fourth season, scheduled to premiere in 2016. The show has received numerous amount of award nominations. It is my opinion that rational choice theory is exemplified throughout this series. Rational choice theory discusses the selfish choices that society makes in order to commit crime. For example, someone may commit theft because they want to sell the stolen goods so that they can gain access to drugs. It is the choice that seems logical during…show more content…
Even though she is only there for 15 months, she realizes soon that this will be a challenge for her. Piper offends the prison kitchen cook, Red, who then punishes Piper for her actions by serving her a bloody tampon and starving her. If Piper had just eaten what she was offered instead of making sure that her comment was heard, Red wouldn’t have made Piper suffer the way she did. According to “Howard Journal of Criminal Justice,” “None of these comments suggest rationality other than the rational need of more marginalized young people to feel a sense of belonging and to have some form of social- and self-identity in an otherwise liminal period of their lives. Yet the focus on individual deficiencies and responsibilisation does not encourage offenders to gain a sense of belonging or motivation to change; on the contrary, it positively discourages it” (Barry 353). Piper wanted to find a sense of self-identity being that she’s new to the jail. She wanted to be unique instead of eating food that she knew wasn’t good for her. Most people find themselves in this position when they are in jail. Therefore, this experience exemplifies rational choice theory because Piper’s comment caused Red to commit the “crime” of starving her. So in Red’s mind, the benefits of sending Piper a message that these types of…show more content…
Healy places Piper on the council without her consent, despite Piper showing her frustration with WAC. Piper has no interest in being part of the Women 's Advisory Council, even if it may affect her chances of being released early. Jacques and Wright assert, “The death penalty is an example of a political punishment, whereas retaliatory murder is an example of a popular punishment. Punishments are a way to reduce the costs to or increase the benefits for the controller/punisher by increasing costs for the person controlled/punished” (Jacques and Wright 737). The punishments that people receive from particular law-breaking acts can potentially put more pressure on them. There are political punishments as well as popular punishments. An example of a political punishment would be life without the chance of parole and an example of a popular punishment would be breaking and entering. Some of the pressure to commit these acts can be self-afflicted and some can be from the criminal’s peers. The pressures from the punishments put emphasis on whatever decision they choose to make. Piper not wanting to have anything to do with the women 's advisory council exhibits rational choice theory because she really could have made a big impact on the women at FCI Danbury and had the benefit of being liked. The assets of Piper not wanting to help and

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