Part 1: Michelle Alexander writes, The decline in legitimate employment opportunities among inner-city residents increased incentives to sell drugs most notably crack cocaine (page 30). Using any of

Part 1: Michelle Alexander writes, The decline in legitimate employment opportunities among inner-city residents increased incentives to sell drugs most notably crack cocaine (page 30). Using any of

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Part 1: Michelle Alexander writes, “The decline in legitimate employment opportunities among inner-city residents increased incentives to sell…

Part 1: Michelle Alexander writes, “The decline in legitimate employment opportunities among inner-city residents increased incentives to sell drugs—most notably crack cocaine” (page 30). Using any of the assigned texts, what were the causes of the decline in employment opportunities in racially segregated American cities? How does the economic theory of rational choice (Mares chapter 2) explain the incentive to sell narcotics? (Michelle Alexander is not using rational choice theory, but Im bringing in her statement to illustrate rational choice theory)Part 2:John Hagedorn writes from the perspective of critical criminology and he is critical of rational choice theory. He writes, “…gang members…are neither puppets of economic forces nor hard-core criminals imprisoned by cold-blooded calculations of ‘rational action.’ My theoretical schema is more cultural than structural and looks to existential rebellion, not broken families or jobless landscapes, to understand gangs’ social behavior” (page 134). One piece of evidence he uses to challenge rational choice theory is the fact that street organizations can and have changed forms and purposes, transforming from street gangs to drug gangs to vigilante groups to political organizations. Two examples of street gangs becoming politicized are Chicago’s Vice Lords in the 1960s, the Ghetto Brothers in the Bronx in the 1970s, and New York’s Latin Kings in the early 1990s. Compare/contrast economic rational choice theory with the perspective of critical criminology, which places emphasis on interaction between structure and culture rather than rationality. You may also share your own perspectives.

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