Criminology Choice Theory and the Term Paper

  • Length: 4 pages
  • Subject: Sociology
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #57551673

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Marxism is very totalitarian and stilted, as opposed to the more relaxed attitude that was taken by some other philosophers in more recent times. An example of the Marxist ideals can be seen in the war that is still ongoing with Iraq. Many of the people there are now more unhappy than they were when Saddam Hussein was in power, and this comes as a surprise to those that are over in that country, trying to save it from itself. The Iraqi people, however, do not want the kind of 'saving' that the U.S. And others have offered to them. Many of them did want to be free of Hussein, but not at the cost of being bound to the American people or the other countries that sent troops over there. In other words, they were seeing first-hand the Marxist ideal that those that change the society change it for their good and desires, not for the desires of others.

This is generally where the idea of choice theory comes in, because it is important to show whether the choices that are made are involved with what is good for the person making the choice, or what is good for those that the choice is being made for. It these are the same person, then this is obviously not a problem, but when the choice is being made by one person for another person or group of people, the Marxist perspective would state that the choice will be made based on what benefits the person making that choice, not on what would benefit those that would then have to live with that choice. The Iraq war is just one small example of this issue, as there are many other areas of life in which this can be observed, and there are many people that are suffering because of the choices that have been made by others. There are, understandably, times that difficult choices have to be made that may not be the easiest or the best for everyone involved, but these are not that common. Instead, many of the difficult choices that are seen are the result of individuals that are involved with rational choice theory and are not interested as strongly as they should be in the welfare of others.

Obviously, it can be seen that this is a large concern for everyone involved because those that are making the changes are not interested in what those that are receiving the changes really want. While not everyone can be pleased all of the time, there is much more that can be done if individuals would look at more of a social choice theory as opposed to a rational choice theory or Marxist perspective. However, part of what Marx was trying to get across was not just that many people do things this way, but that people actually are this way. In other words, people are predisposed and ingrained to react in a manner that makes them more concerned about themselves and less concerned about others. This has been seen all throughout history and in many walks of life, but it appears to be getting worse.

Society is changing, or perhaps society's problems are only becoming stronger and more evident. Whatever the cause, more concern for self has been seen in many instances, but this does not mean that Marx is always right. When disasters happen (9/11 for example, or Hurricane Katrina) people do seem to band together much more than they generally would in order to help others instead of simply helping themselves. When the disaster is over or somewhat resolved, however, people go back to their own lives and seem to forget about others. This is basically what Marxism is trying to say as it relates to choice theory. People will help others, but only when pressed to do so, such as when disaster unites the country. Overall, however, what Marx said regarding class and choice appears to be true for most of the individuals. Exceptions are out there, but they are not that common.


McIntosh, CM. (2003). Public opinion of determinate sentencing. Creighton University. Retrieved at sh.htm

McClelland, K. (2000). Conflict Theory. Theoretical perspectives in sociology. Retrieved at

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