Den rationella inbrottstjuven? En studie om rationalitet och rationellt handlande i brott

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


Rationality as purposive action among burglars is the theme of this study. Various theories concerning rationality, Rational Choice Theory especially, are discussed. The first purpose of this thesis is to highlight the concept of rationality. Rationality is a complex concept and it is defined in various ways in the literature. The basic definition is to act in a purposive way towards a defined goal. The second purpose is to study the occurence of rational components in criminal behaviour among burglars. The action of burglary has been treated as a serie of actions, in which there are many decisions to make. Ethnographical studies and interviews have been conducted. The analyses and interpretations of the narratives render a picture of a situationally bounded rational action which also is contextually and culturally anchored. The necessity of further theoretical refinements for empirical studies covered by rationality, is emphasized. Concludingly, criminal behaviour seen through rationality as a general framwo rk has been acknowledge as being fruitful and relevant.


  • Lottie Wahlin
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • burglary, purposive action, reasoning, risk, drugs, ethnographical studies, narratives, interviews, bounded rationality, situational, Rationality, Sociology, cultural context., Rational Choice Theory, Criminology
Translated title of the contributionThe Rational Burglar?: A study of rationality and rational behaviour in crime
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1999 Oct 5
  • Department of Sociology, Lund University
Print ISBNs91-89078-85-3
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 1999-10-05 Time: 10:15 Place: Carolinasalen, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Lindgren, Sven-Åke Title: [unknown] Affiliation: [unknown] ---