THE MISPLACED ROLE OF RATIONAL CHOICE IN NEUTRALIZATION THEORY

JOHN E. HAMLIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study addresses one point in neutralization theory. It is often maintained that techniques of neutralization relieve moral constraints which allow for individuals to commit delinquent behavior. Drawing on the body of knowledge concerning vocabularies of motives, it is argued here that motives in deviancy theory should not be viewed in such positivist/causal terms. Techniques of neutralization are motives which are more accurately utilized after behavior is committed and only when such behavior is called into question. It is also argued that the use of motives and the types of motives should indicate the degree of conflict involved in the question situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-438
Number of pages14
JournalCriminology
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1988

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