Social Institution

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Social Institution

Which empirical and speculative theories are most applicable when applied to organized crime and criminal behavior? A social institution is a complex, integrated set of social norms organized around the preservation of a basic societal value. (Social Institutions, 2011) Social institutions are incremental to every walk of life. They define a society with its own unique characteristics as well as help the individuals within that society become an active part of that society. Social institutions teach us what is expected of each of us and what behaviors are accepted. Social institutions are just as much a part of organized crime as they are of every other society. Criminal organizations concentrate on the community social structure, the type of control the community has on its citizens, and the level of involvement each member has amongst the rest. Criminal groups evolve in certain locations that show a percentage of individuals living within the area want a product or service that the criminal organization is offering.

The theory proposed belongs to a school of thought known as the alien conspiracy theory; that is, that organized crime in America began with criminal gangs imported by European, usually Sicilian or Italian, immigrants. (Historical Interpretations on Prohibition and Organized Crime, 2003) The Italian mafia came to the United States to avoid being apprehended and incarcerated in their own country. The United States offered a wide open market for the importation and sale of alcohol with the passage of the Volstead Act that initiated Prohibition. According to proponents of [the] alien conspiracy theory, sometime around 1900, a group called the Black Hand ... set up a national syndicate of 25 or so Italian-dominated crime families calling themselves La Cosa Nostra. (Historical Interpretations on Prohibition and Organized Crime, 2003) The differential association theory believes that a person particular social group or...
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