UNT CJUS 3310 - Ch. 4 (6 pages)

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Ch. 4



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Ch. 4

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Pages:
6
School:
University of North Texas
Course:
Cjus 3310 - Org/consensual Crime
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CJUS 3310 Organized and Consensual Crime Chapter 4 Explaining Organized Crime According to the theory of Ethnic Succession organized crime in the United States has been a social mobility vehicle for disadvantaged segments of the population With social and economic success these formerly disadvantaged exit crime in favor of conventional lives This affects the American Mafia that now has difficulty attracting prospective members from traditional mob neighborhoods This chapter examines relevant theories in the fields of sociology psychology and biology ORGANIZED CRIME THEORIES Organized crime has been subjected to only limited attempts at explanation explanations beyond immoral people in pursuit of personal gain The sociological literature on organized crime is sparse Psychology provides even less but offers some insights Biology in particular neurology offers an understanding of problematic behavior THE STRAIN OF ANOMIE Building on Durkheim s concept of anomie R K Merton set forth a social and cultural explanation for deviant behavior in the U S He theorized that organized crime is a normal response to strain between societal goals and the means available to the individual to achieve those goals He argued that American fixation on economic success pathological materialism causes some individuals to innovate the means to achieve the goal THE STRAIN OF ANOMIE CONT In the 19th century and later immigrants lacked access to acceptable means for achieving societal goals But why do middle class youngsters with access and some wealthy and powerful individuals participate in organized crime And why do some persons suffering from anomie not turn to organized crime E Sutherland provides an answer in differential association theory DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION According to Sutherland all behavior lawful and criminal is learned The principal part of learning occurs within intimate personal groups What is learned depends on the intensity frequency and duration of the association When these variables are sufficient and the associations are criminal the individual learns the techniques of committing crime DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATON CONT Enclaves where criminal subcultures flourish foster education in the techniques of sophisticated criminality Instead of conforming to conventional norms some persons through differential association organize their behavior according to the norms of a criminal group In enclaves with OC traditions persons exhibiting criminal norms are integrated in the community exposing young people to learning those norms SUBCULTURES AND SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION Culture is a source of patterning of human conduct It is the sum of patterns of social relationships and shared meanings A subculture implies that there is a social value system that is apart from a larger value system Subcultural delinquents have learned values that are deviant and that lead to criminal behavior They may view their criminal behavior as morally wrong but this is not their controlling attitude SUBCULTURE ANECDOTE They saw the Outfit guys and gave them deference It s in the culture It is a perverted sense of values Knockin down an old lady to take her purse that s wrong killing the clerk at the corner store for a few bucks that s wrong But everything to do with organized crime is perfectly acceptable Scarmella 1998 CRIMINOGENIC NEIGHBORHOODS Shaw and McKay studied patterns of criminality in Chicago in the 1920s1930s They found that certain neighborhoods maintained high levels of criminality over time despite changes in ethnic composition Such neighborhoods are characterized by attitudes and values that are conducive to delinquency and crime particularly organized crime SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION Landesco studied organized crime in Chicago in the 1920s He found organized crime could be explained by Social disorganization in the wider society as during Prohibition The social organization of urban slums from which members of organized crime emerge Once a set of cultural values is established they tend to become autonomous in their impact DIFFERENTIAL OPPORTUNITY Cloward and Ohlin Illegitimate opportunity for success like legitimate opportunity is not equally distributed throughout society Severe deprivation with extremely limited access to ladders of legitimate success results in collective adaptations in the form of delinquent subcultures DELINQUENT SUBCULTURES Cloward and Ohlin 1960 distinguish 3 types Retreatist subculture reject economic success goal in favor of an easy goal e g a drug high Conflict subculture reject economic success goal seek status through violent destructive gang activities Criminal rackets subculture gang activity devoted to utilitarian criminal pursuits an adaptation that approaches organized crime SOCIAL CONTROL THEORY Social control refers to the processes by which the community influences its members toward conformance with established norms of behavior Why do most people conform to societal norms Why do some young people who have the opportunity to contend for positions in OC choose not to SOCIAL CONTROL THEORY CONT Social control theorists Delinquent acts result when an individual s bond to society is weak or broken The strength of the bond is determined by External Restraints Social disapproval linked to public shame and or fear of punishment Internal Restraints An unconscious powerful mechanism that provides a sense of guilt ETHNIC SUCCESSION According to the ethnic succession thesis successive immigrant groups experienced strain and some members innovated using illegal means to achieve societal goals According to this thesis persons involved in OC are not committed to a deviant subculture but are merely using available if illegal opportunities to achieve economic success Big Sal Miciotta Only a real gavone lowlife wants for his kids what we got Goldberg 1999 Critics of ethnic succession theory note some persons rationally choose OC although they have other options ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN AND THE RATIONALIZATION OF CRIME A R The Brain Rothstein 1882 1928 set new standards in OC He transformed criminal activity from a haphazard endeavor into a bureaucracy with specialized expertise administrative hierarchy and organizational procedure Rothstein s office in the middle of the midtown business district employed a staff comparable to that of any large legitimate commercial firm complete with secretaries bookkeepers and legal counsel Joselit 1983 ZIPS The Zips recent immigrants from the Mezzogiorno are


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