Sociology Index


Routine activity theory was developed to explain variations in victimization survey rates among categories of persons and areas. Dependent on the notions of lifestyle exposure theory and opportunity, routine activity theory argues that it is the routine activity of young males which explains their high rate of victimization compared to seniors. Opportunities for crime are a function of the routine activity patterns in society. As the routine activities of people change, the likelihood of targets converging in time and space with motivated offenders without guardians also changes. When people perform routine activities away from the home, they are more likely to encounter potential offenders in the absence of guardians. Routine activity theory has its foundation in human ecology and rational choice theory.

Routine activity theory argues that it is the changes in routine-activity accompanying the increase in small households and two-income family which has increased the opportunity for property crimes. Routine activity theory explains crime events as the convergence in time and space of likely offenders and target suitability in the absence of capable guardians. Although the routine activity theory describes characteristics associated with events, no study to date has tested the effective guardianship theory on crime events. Routine activity theory is an integral part of crime opportunity theory. According to routine activity theory, crime is relatively unaffected by social causes such as poverty, inequality, and unemployment.

From Broken Windows to Perceived Routine Activities: Examining Impacts of Environmental Interventions on Perceived Safety of Urban Alleys. Bin Jiang, Cecilia Nga Sze Mak, Hua Zhong, Linda Larsen, and Christopher John Webster.
Abstract: Two important criminology theories that discuss the environmental and social factors that lead to crime: the Broken Windows Theory and the Routine Activity Theory. Results show that all interventions yielded higher perceived safety than existing alley scenes. Interventions based on the Routine Activity Theory yielded higher ratings. Urban function interventions are inspired by the Routine Activity Theory.

The Novelty of ‘Cybercrime’ - An Assessment in Light of Routine Activity Theory - Majid Yar, University of Kent. Authors claim that such crime is not qualitatively different from terrestrial crime, and can be analysed and explained using established theories of crime causation. One such approach, often cited, is the routine activity theory developed by Marcus Felson. This article explores the extent to which the routine activity theory's concepts and aetiological schema can be transposed to crimes committed in a virtual environment. The examination concludes that, although some of the routine activity theory's core concepts can indeed be applied to cybercrime, there remain important differences between virtual and terrestrial worlds that limit the routine activity theory's usefulness.

A Routine Activity Theory Explanation for Women's Stalking Victimizations.
ELIZABETH EHRHARDT MUSTAINE, RICHARD TEWKSBURY. Presents a routine activity theory model for predicting stalking victimization likelihood for women. Using routine activity theory, the model highlights lifestyle behavior and interactions as predictors of stalking victimization. Whereas routine activity theory often highlights the role of demography and statuses as predictors, this analysis emphasizes the role of women's social interactions and substance use in victimization risk.

Routine Activity Theory And The Risk Of Rape: Analyzing Ten Years Of National Crime Survey Data - Joanne Belknap. This analysis applies routine activity theory to the risk of rape, using 10 years (1973-82) of NCS data. In addition to univariate analysis describing characteristics of the victimization itself, bivariate analysis and multivariate analysis are employed to assess the risk of rape, comparing 762 rape and attempted rape victims. Most characteristics concerning the rape incident itself were consistent with routine activity theory.

The Challenges of Testing Routine Activity Theory - Skubak, Marie.
Abstract: Routine activity theory explains crime events as the convergence in time and space of likely offenders and suitable targets in the absence of capable guardians. Existing tests of the routine activity theory have limitations due to 1) design, 2) level of measurement, 3) level of study, and/or 4) failure to include measures of all theoretical constructs in the test. This poster will present a review of existing tests of routine activity theory, a critique of the operationalization of guardianship, and a framework for future tests of routine activity theory.

Global Warming and U.S. Crime Rates.- An Application of Routine Activity Theory.
James Rotton, Ellen G. Cohn. Two archival analyses were performed to examine the association between annual temperatures and U.S. crime rates. Box-Jenkins time-series analyses indicated that annual temperatures were associated with assault but not murder rates in analyses that controlled for yearly population, ethnicity, and three economic variables. The second analysis was based on state-centered crime rates from 1960-1998. The results are consistent with a routine activity theory interpretation of everyday and criminal behavior.

Socioecological Models of Automotive Theft: Integrating Routine Activity and Social Disorganization Approaches - Kennon J. Rice, William R. Smith. This study explores causes of variation in auto theft rates using spatial data with faceblocks as a unit of analysis. An integration of routine activity theory and social disorganization theory is proposed, premised on an empirical basis of interaction effectsand a pattern of automobile theft diffusion. The results show that the integration of social disorganization theory and routine activity theory significantly increases the predictive power of the analyses and reveals several new socioecological implications for how and why auto theft occurs.

EXPLORING THE GEOGRAPHY OF ROUTINE ACTIVITY THEORY:- A SPATIO-TEMPORAL TEST USING STREET ROBBERY - Elizabeth Ruth Groff, Ph.D., Co-Directed By: Ralph Dubayah, Professor, Geography and David Weisburd, Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice. The concepts of routine activity theory are formalized in a computational laboratory representing Seattle, Washington. Three versions of a model of street robbery are developed; each version implements a different level of constraints on agent's routine activities. The results provide strong evidence of the important role routine activities theory in street robbery events. The addition of temporal and spatio-temporal schedule constraints reduces the incidence and changes the pattern of street robberies. Support for routine activity theory's premise, as time spent away from home increases street robbery will increase, is found in the Simple and Temporal, but not the Activity Space version of the model.