Social Organized Crime Perspective Social Organized Crime Perspective Social institution is a group of people or association with a certain reason, objective, or mission. This organization reaches its goal by influencing and persuading people in the public to take part, and help with reaching this purpose. Social institution applies to organized crime in various ways. Criminal organizations develop in areas that show a portion of individuals living within the jurisdiction are interested in a product that the criminal organization is offering.
This is crucial as it enables the organization to effectively generate, dispense, and consume the product (Lyman & Potter, 2007). Additionally, criminal organizations target the community’s social makeup, control the community has socially on its members, and the level of involvement each community member has among the rest. Furthermore, criminal organizations develop tight relations with lawful businesses and owners willing to play a part in the organizations accomplishment (Lyman ; Potter, 2007). There are empirical and speculative theories that are can be applied to organized crime and criminal behavior.
Individuals involved with organized crime in Sicily and Italy had formed criminal organizations such as the “Sicilian Mafia” or “Cosa Nostra”. These persons came to the United States to avoid detection and apprehension by law enforcement in their own country, and to gain opportunities that the United States provided both legally and illegally. Upon migrating to the United States these groups began to organize, and operate many criminal organizations. It is believed that these individuals have been the main cause for the establishing of organized crime (Osmosis, 2003).
The social control theory asserts that an individual who is involved with a community and has strong family relations will be less likely to engage in illegal activity than those who do not. If an individual is capable of establishing a positive rapport with community members, becomes involved and participates in community programs, such as youth, elderly, religious-spiritual, and anti-crime, the individual will most likely refrain from engaging in criminal activity or at the very least consider the consequences of a criminal act prior to committing the act (Psychological Glossary, 2010).
The differential association theory considers one’s social group and environment as the fundamental explanation for one’s criminal behavior and the formation and joining of criminal organizations. An individual who socializes with a group or other individuals who have a history with the legal system or who engage in illegal activity are at an extremely higher risk to conform to the norms of that particular social sub-group. A prime example is a teenager who becomes involved in delinquent criminal behavior and activity as a result of peer pressure.
These juveniles are susceptible to withdrawing from school, joining criminal organizations, such as street gangs, and experimenting with illegal substances and alcohol, all of which continues the juvenile down a path of addiction, career criminality, and a long criminal history into adulthood (Sutherland, 1978). The strain and anomie theory believes that individuals who engage in criminal activity do so as a result of wanting a piece of the American dream or to obtain materialistic items of value.
A majority of individuals within the United States never experience the luxury of owning a fancy vehicle, house, business, or property. Most individuals residing in the United States are forced to work labor intensive jobs, receive a low paying wage, are parents who must provide and support families, and do so through legal means. Unfortunately, the desire to achieve items of value, provide a better life for one’s children, such as the purchasing of school cloths, vacations, and after school activities can force some to conduct illegal business for the purpose of gaining an
The empirical and speculative theories discussed, such as the social control, differential association, and strain and anomie theories can assist researchers, society, professionals, and law enforcement with understanding the elements that exist in different criminal organizations and criminal behavior. Each theory is supported by research, statistics, strong arguments, and facts that can be used by law enforcement in numerous ways.
Theories as such display characteristics and mannerisms common in criminal behavior, along with what geographical locations are susceptible to the development of criminal organizations and activity. Furthermore, jurisdictions, in which its citizens are antisocial or uninvolved with the community, prove to be breeding grounds for many types of criminal wrongdoing that exists. References Lyman, M. , & Potter, G. (2007). Organized Crime (4th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Osmosis. (2003).
Everything: Historical interpretations on Prohibition and organized crime. Retrieved December 10, 2011, from http://everything2. com/title/Historical+interpretations+on+Prohibition+and+organized+crime Psychological Glossary. (2010). Social Control Theory. Retrieved December 10, 2011, from http://www. psychology-lexicon. com/cms/glossary/glossary-s/social-control-theory. html Sutherland, E. (1978). Differential Association Theory: Sociological Theories of Deviance. Retrieved December 10, 2011, from http://www. d. umn. edu/~jhamlin1/sutherland. html