SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Lehtinen, A., & Kuorikoski, J. (2007). Unrealistic assumptions in rational choice theory. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 37, 115-138.

Abstract: The most common argument against the use of rational choice models outside economics is that they make unrealistic assumptions about individual behavior. We argue that whether the falsity of assumptions matters in a given model depends on which factors are explanatorily relevant. Since the explanatory factors may vary from application to application, effective criticism of economic model building should be based on model-specific arguments showing how the result really depends on the false assumptions. However, some modeling results in imperialistic applications are relatively robust with respect to unrealistic assumptions.

Journal Article 2: Bratt, C. (2008). Guardians to counter adolescent drug use? Limitations of a routine activities approach. Youth & Society, 39, 385-405.

Abstract: Based on suggestions made by routine activities theory and data from two surveys, the present study discusses the use of adult guardians as a means to counter drug use among adolescents who seek out unsupervised routine activities with peers. Two surveys with 13- to 15-year-olds were conducted 4 years apart in a Norwegian town (Ns = 1,455 and 1,552). Prior to the second survey, adult guardians (social workers and voluntary guardians) were introduced at places where teenagers tended to gather. The town experienced a remarkable reduction in adolescents’ use of alcohol and illegal drugs, in contrast to the general development in Norway. Routine activities theory would suggest that the introduction of guardians contributed to this development. Data did not support this suggestion. However, data indicated that guardians might result in a marginalization of users of illegal drugs. This article uses the example of drug use to point at limitations in a situational approach to counter youth delinquency.