Social Institution

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Social Organized Crime Perspective Paper
Social Institution
CJA/384
University of Phoenix

Organized crime is a nonideological enterprise involving a number of persons in close social interaction, organized on a hierarchical basis, with at least three levels/ranks, for the purpose of securing profit and power by engaging in illegal and legal activities. Positions in the hierarchy and positions involving functional specialization may be assigned on the basis of kinship or friendship, or rationally assigned according to skill. The positions are not dependent on the individuals occupying them at any particular time. Permanency is assumed by the members who strive to keep the enterprise integral and active in pursuit of its goals. It eschews competition and strives for monopoly on an industry or territorial basis. There is a willingness to use violence and/or bribery to achieve ends or to maintain discipline. Membership is restricted, although nonmembers may be involved on a contingency basis. There are explicit rules, oral or written, which are enforced by sanctions that include murder (Abadinsky, 1994 Social institutions are basing on structures of relationships, functions, roles, and obligations. People who live their lives with the concept of right and wrong have positive values. People who do not consider these values are known to be antisocial. Social institutions that people learn their socialization from are religion, education, economic, and political. Social institution recognizes a community for social activity rather than legal boundaries. Second, the access points to the social activity are necessary in each day living. These are very important roles if people want to be accepted in society (Jenkins, 2001). Theories are an underlying fact of certain observed phenomena that has been approved to some degree. The alien conspiracy theory blames outside people and outside influences on organized crime. The alien conspiracy supposes to be a fact that organized crime mafia gained attention during the 1860s in Sicily and that the Sicilians are responsible. There are numerous sociological theories that have been used to explain organized crime (Lyman & Potter, 2007). One of the earliest such theories is the alien conspiracy one, which holds that organized crime is essentially the result of unfettered immigration as various criminal organizations associated with different cultures, such as the Russian vary, Sicilian mafia, Chinese triads and Japanese yakuza, to name a few, find their way to American soil (Lyman & Potter, 2007).

Another theory, known as the social control theory, attempts to explain the prevalence of organized crime and criminal behavior by citing various environmental and sociological factors which may encourage or prevent young people from embarking upon a life of crime (Lyman & Potter, 2007). For instance, in certain sub-cultures, individuals who feel them to be alienated from mainstream society and its norms may adopt a set of social norms and rules that are completely contrary to those followed by mainstream society. This theory attempts to explain the ghetto culture wherein individuals with a history of criminal behavior, such as drug dealers and gang members, are glorified and looked up to. As Lyman & Potter (2007) put it, “Fear of punishment, shame or embarrassment, and psychological restraints such as conscience (described as the "super ego" by Freudian Theory) are a few reasons why not everyone who has the opportunity will engage in criminal activity”. In my opinion, organized crime and attendant criminal behavior is indulged in by those individuals who are unable to get their needs met as part of the larger, normal world of law abiding citizens. As Lyman & Potter (2007) have put it, “The legitimate market's failure to serve sizable consumer populations is responsible for the existence of most vice operations. As a consequence, organized crime capitalizes on...
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