Routine activities theory is a sub-field of rational choice theory developed by Marcus Felson and Lawrence Cohen which states that for a crime to occur, three conditions must be met: an individual is properly motivated to commit the offense, there is a vulnerable victim readily available, and there are insufficient mechanisms in place to provide protection or prevent the crime. This theory focuses on the characteristics of crime and criminal activity as opposed to the characteristics of the offender, and suggests that overarching social conditions contextualize and define everyday interactions and situate them within a broader framework of environmental criminology.
Additionally, routine activities theory offers a macro perspective on crime through the analysis of socio-economic conditions which influence crime and victimization statistics. It relates patterns of criminal offense to daily patterns of social interaction and relationship development, and views crime as a normal event dependent on specific available circumstances; however, routine activities theory posits that offenders are less likely to commit crimes if they are able to achieve their personal goals through legitimate means, indicating that criminal motivations can be reduced if an individual perceives a positive alternative to crime.
Although controversial among sociologists advocating for socially determining factors of crime, routine activities theory does provide reasonable and well-founded explanations for crimes such as copyright infringement related to peer-to-peer file sharing, employee theft, corporate crime, and so on. At Homework Help UK, our experts in rational choice examine the theoretical and methodological issues relevant to exploring routine activities theory, and are capable of producing well researched empirical essays which review major contributions to criminological thought in relation to willing contributions to crime. Trust the experts at Homework Help UK – get a quote now!