Routine Activity Theory Analysis

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There are many different schools of criminological theories that all attempt in explaining crime in different ways. Among these various school of thought are the environmental theories, which do not focus on the individual or even groups of individuals, but instead focus on the environment itself and whether or not it is likely to contribute to criminal activity. One particular environmental theory, Cohen and Felson’s Routine Activity Theory, states that “…in order for a crime to occur, motivated offenders must converge with suitable targets in the absence of capable guardians…” (Cohen, Agnew, & Wilcox 2014). If one of those three components is missing, then the theory argues the lack of a motivated offender, a suitable target, or if there…show more content…
For example, the activities/routines that households and families partake in bring about a lower opportunity for victimization to occur in comparison to activities that take place away from the household. A weakness is that in crimes that involve a person being directly victimized, the theory’s stipulation of the lack of a capable guardian leads to victim blaming. It insinuates that we are not capable to properly guarding ourselves from perpetrators and we are at fault for being victimized, whether it be due to our inability of protecting ourselves or it be caused by our routine activities. That is highly problematic, especially when people who have been sexually assaulted or raped are constantly blamed and told that they could have prevented it. Another weakness it that it seems to need further and more extensive testing. I do like this theory because it offers a different take on why crime happens, focusing on environments and routines and how they both affect criminal occurrences. The only thing I do not care for regarding this theory is that it can cause victim blaming. Blaming the victim is such a significant and horrendous problem in the world today, and it needs to be done away with. In conclusion, Routine Activity Theory has valid and supported claims, simply stating that environmental factors have a heavy influence on criminal activity and the presence of three elements decide whether or not crime is likely to

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