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Origins of the Mafia
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The Mafia were certainly powerful but they "were part of a heterogeneous underworld, a network characterized by complex webs of relationships. Further studies showed neither bureaucracy nor kinship groups are the primary structure of organized crime, rather they were in partnerships or a series of joint business ventures. All observed networks and a degree of persistence, and there may be utility in focusing on the identification of organizing roles of people and events rather than the group's structure.
International consensus on defining organized crime has become important since the s due its increased prevalence and impact. It is frequently accomplished through ruthless disregard of any law, including offenses against the person and frequently in connection with political corruption.
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However, violence and corruption and the pursuit of multiple enterprises and continuity serve to form the essence of OC activity. There are eleven characteristics from the European Commission and Europol pertinent to a working definition of organized crime. Six of those must be satisfied and the four in italics are mandatory. Others stress the importance of power, profit and perpetuity, defining organized criminal behavior as:. Definitions need to bring together its legal and social elements.
OC has widespread social, political and economic effects. It uses violence and corruption to achieve its ends: It is a mistake to use the term "OC" as though it denotes a clear and well-defined phenomenon. The evidence regarding OC "shows a less well-organized, very diversified landscape of organizing criminals…the economic activities of these organizing criminals can be better described from the viewpoint of 'crime enterprises' than from a conceptually unclear frameworks such as 'OC'. OC may appear in many forms at different times and in different places.
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The understanding of organized crime has therefore progressed to combined internationalization and an understanding of social conflict into one of power, control, efficiency risk and utility, all within the context of organizational theory. The accumulation of social, economic and political power  have sustained themselves as a core concerns of all criminal organizations:. Contemporary organized crime may be very different from traditional Mafia style, particularly in terms of the distribution and centralization of power, authority structures and the concept of 'control' over one's territory and organization.
There is a tendency away from centralization of power and reliance upon family ties towards a fragmentation of structures and informality of relationships in crime groups. Organized crime most typically flourishes when a central government and civil society is disorganized, weak, absent or untrusted. This may occur in a society facing periods of political, economic or social turmoil or transition, such as a change of government or a period of rapid economic development, particularly if the society lacks strong and established institutions and the rule of law.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Revolutions of in Eastern Europe that saw the downfall of the Communist Bloc created a breeding ground for criminal organizations. The newest growth sectors for organized crime are identity theft and online extortion. These activities are troubling because they discourage consumers from using the Internet for e-commerce. E-commerce was supposed to level the playing ground between small and large businesses, but the growth of online organized crime is leading to the opposite effect; large businesses are able to afford more bandwidth to resist denial-of-service attacks and superior security.
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Furthermore, organized crime using the Internet is much harder to trace down for the police even though they increasingly deploy cybercops since most police forces and law enforcement agencies operate within a local or national jurisdiction while the Internet makes it easier for criminal organizations to operate across such boundaries without detection. In the past criminal organizations have naturally limited themselves by their need to expand, putting them in competition with each other.
This competition, often leading to violence, uses valuable resources such as manpower either killed or sent to prison , equipment and finances. He used this position to eliminate competition and consolidate power within the city of Boston which led to the imprisonment of several senior organized crime figures including Gennaro Angiulo , underboss of the Patriarca crime family. Infighting sometimes occurs within an organization, such as the Castellamarese war of —31 and the Boston Irish Mob Wars of the s and s. Today criminal organizations are increasingly working together, realizing that it is better to work in cooperation rather than in competition with each other once again, consolidating power.
This has led to the rise of global criminal organizations such as Mara Salvatrucha , 18th Street gang , and Barrio Azteca. This rise in cooperation between criminal organizations has meant that law enforcement agencies are increasingly having to work together. This theory treats all individuals as rational operators, committing criminal acts after consideration of all associated risks detection and punishment compared with the rewards of crimes personal, financial etc. The role of criminal organizations in lowering the perceptions of risk and increasing the likelihood of personal benefit is prioritized by this approach, with the organizations structure, purpose, and activity being indicative of the rational choices made by criminals and their organizers.
This theory sees criminal behavior as reflective of an individual, internal calculation  by the criminal that the benefits associated with offending whether financial or otherwise outweigh the perceived risks. The benefits of participating in organized crime higher financial rewards, greater socioeconomic control and influence, protection of the family or significant others, perceived freedoms from 'oppressive' laws or norms contribute greatly to the psychology behind highly organized group offending.
Criminals learn through associations with one another. The success of organized crime groups is therefore dependent upon the strength of their communication and the enforcement of their value systems, the recruitment and training processes employed to sustain, build or fill gaps in criminal operations.
Interpersonal relationships define the motivations the individual develops, with the effect of family or peer criminal activity being a strong predictor of inter-generational offending. Under this theory, organized crime exists because legitimate markets leave many customers and potential customers unsatisfied. Under these conditions competition is discouraged, ensuring criminal monopolies sustain profits. Legal substitution of goods or services may by increasing competition force the dynamic of organized criminal operations to adjust, as will deterrence measures reducing demand , and the restriction of resources controlling the ability to supply or produce to supply.
Sutherland goes further to say that deviancy is contingent on conflicting groups within society, and that such groups struggle over the means to define what is criminal or deviant within society. Criminal organizations therefore gravitate around illegal avenues of production, profit-making, protectionism or social control and attempt by increasing their operations or membership to make these acceptable.
The ability to effect social norms and practices through political and economic influence and the enforcement or normaliszation of criminogenic needs may be defined by differential association theory. Social disorganization theory is intended to be applied to neighborhood level street crime,  thus the context of gang activity, loosely formed criminal associations or networks, socioeconomic demographic impacts, legitimate access to public resources, employment or education, and mobility give it relevance to organized crime.
Where the upper- and lower-classes live in close proximity this can result in feelings of anger, hostility, social injustice and frustration. Criminality becomes attractive when expectations of being able to fulfill goals therefore achieving success by legitimate means cannot be fulfilled.
This has been used as the basis for numerous meta-theories of organized crime through its integration of social learning, cultural deviance, and criminogenic motivations. It is the inadequate supply of legitimate opportunities that constrains the ability for the individual to pursue valued societal goals and reduces the likelihood that using legitimate opportunities will enable them to satisfy such goals due to their position in society. Criminals violate the law because they belong to a unique subculture - the counter-culture - their values and norms conflicting with those of the working-, middle- or upper-classes upon which criminal laws are based.
This subculture shares an alternative lifestyle, language and culture, and is generally typified by being tough, taking care of their own affairs and rejecting government authority. Role models include drug dealers, thieves and pimps, as they have achieved success and wealth not otherwise available through socially-provided opportunities.
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It is through modeling organized crime as a counter-cultural avenue to success that such organizations are sustained. The alien conspiracy theory and queer ladder of mobility theories state that ethnicity and 'outsider' status immigrants, or those not within the dominant ethnocentric groups and their influences are thought to dictate the prevalence of organized crime in society.
Bell's theory of the 'queer ladder of mobility' hypothesized that ' ethnic succession ' the attainment of power and control by one more marginalized ethnic group over other less marginalized groups occurs by promoting the perpetration of criminal activities within a disenfranchised or oppressed demographic. Many argue this misinterprets and overstates the role of ethnicity in organized crime. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Organized crime disambiguation.
This article needs additional citations for verification. Shadow dancing beneath the Enola Gay. By Jim Banholzer. Back in , I flew from the Hailey, Idaho airport to Dulles , Virginia , to visit my other hometown. Udvar-Hazy Center. It was just down the road from Dulles — a hectic highway which thirty years ago was a bumpy two-lane road, the Burnette brothers and I rode our ten speeds up, in hopes of spying the then new Supersonic Concorde.
To me this stood out as a baffling incentive —perhaps an intended joke —for curiosity seekers to now consider hoofing it under their own steam in an area where very few walk anymore. Another tribute to the cost of using machines? This was post , and not far from the Pentagon, so security was beefed up. For those interested in air travel history, this museum is well worth visiting.
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Even the Enola Gay appears slightly rested here. This craft reigned radioactive terror onto Hiroshima , Japan on August 6, Many people, including dad, a former Marine and at the time of our visit Vice-Commander of American Legion Post ; proudly argue that this, alongside the Bockscar three days later, over Nagasaki that bombed woman and children into rubble as they walked down the street respectfully bowing to each other, saved the U.
After all, the happiest grin I had ever seen on dads face was in a photo from that week in when war was declared over. Though dad sported a broken leg with cast, he was all smiles alongside dancers celebrating in the street. Dad was born the same month as Elvis. Another photo taken just before he joined the Marines shows him resembling the King in a swaggering rebellious mood. Crazed dancing soon led to a baby boom from which I bounced into this world.
Now it was and we stood together in the museum; alone, in front of much more than a symbol -the actual patriotic plane that had vaporized poor innocent souls, spilling blood in perpetuity. I told dad I had read a dab in the Idaho paper that the first day this exhibit opened some protestors splashed fake blood onto the aircraft. This seemed to make dad sick. Nothing about the ramifications or controversy over nuclear bombs and how some argue that the millions of dollars and years of research drilled into these first atomic bombs might have been a prime motivation for actually using them.
No signs posted in the museum talked about how making a big impression on Russia was at least as important as ending the war at the time. Dad and I went over to the snack bar. Drinks there were strictly monitored to stay within the roped perimeter.