Social Organized Crime Perspective
May 5, 2013
The definition of social institutions is the “Major structural entities in socio-cultural systems that address a basic need of the system. Institutions involve fixed modes of behavior backed by strong norms and sanctions that tend to be followed by most members of a society,” (Social Science Dictionary, para. 1, 2008). With this definition in mind, this paper will examine how social institution pertains to organized crime and how it functions in society and if empirical or speculative theories to the perspective are most applicable as applied to organized crime and to crime behavior. Social institutions help link individuals to a larger social group of people. Like meeting halls, churches, and schools, organized crime, is considered a social institution because it provides people with others who can provide services they may want or need. Some may need drugs, protection from others, prostitution services, etc., and the services are not available or legal by society standards. Organized crime groups provide the services often demanded, hard to find, provide and are usually unlawful. During Prohibition between 1920 and 1933, there was a ban on manufacturing, selling, and transporting alcoholic beverages, (Rosenberg, 2013). Though the law was in effect, the demand for alcohol did not wane in America. Organized crime groups provided not only ways to manufacture, transport, and sell the alcohol but also social venues in which to serve the liquor (Lyman & Potter, 2007). Many theories were developed to discover how organized crime started, exists, and continues to exist. In addition these theories also help law enforcement learn how to investigate and uncover criminal organizations nationally and internationally. Some of these theories are empirical, based on observations, practice experiments, and research, but others are speculative and based solely on conclusions, opinions...
References: Lyman, M.D., & Potter, G.W. (2007). Organized Crime. Fourth Edition. Prentice Hall.
Rosenberg, J. (2013). Prohibition. 20th Century History. About.com. Retrieved from
Social Institutions. (2008). Sociology Dictionary. Social Science Dictionary. Retrieved from
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