Organized crime refers to large-scale bureaucratic organizations that provide illegal goods and services in public demand. Syndicated crime has largely been conducted by an Italian-American syndicate, variously termed the Mafia. The Mafia operates a vast system of political corruption and employs violence and intimidation against victims, rivals, and renegades. A study undertaken by the National Institute of Justice found that from one-half to three-fourths of the men arrested for serious in twelve major American cities tested positive for recent drug use.
Given the ties between drugs and organized crimes, it is difficult to overlook the part that drug addiction plays in motivating criminal behavior. Effectual police force is fundamental in contending with drug trafficking, as both a local and large-scale organized crime. Seen from the conflict perspective, organized crimes reflect the reality that society is an arena in which people struggle for privilege, prestige, and power, and advantaged group enforce their advantage through coercion.
Other types of deviance yielded by organized crimes, alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence, sexual immorality, and prostitution, are products of the moral degeneration fostered by a social milieu founded on the unprincipled pursuit of profit and the subjugation of the poor, women, blacks, and other minorities. It is apparent to most people that powerful individuals and groups make and administer the laws. In this sense, then, laws are not neutral, but favor some group’s interests and embody some group’s values.
Taking the conflict perspective into consideration in discerning social inequality in deviance, it indeed shows that organized crime is endemic to capitalism. Organized Crimes Throughout human history, the question of why social inequality and division should characterize the human condition has been a matter of lively concern. The conflict theory of social equality (or inequality) holds that stratification exists because it benefits individuals and groups who have the power to dominate, exploit others, and engage in organized crimes. The conflict theorists focus on the interests that divide people.
Viewed from the conflict perspective, society is an arena in which people struggle for privilege, prestige, and power, and advantaged group enforce their advantage through coercion (Hinkle, 2004). Organized crime refers to large-scale bureaucratic organizations that provide illegal goods and services in public demand. Such crime is likely to arise where the state criminalizes certain activities, such as prostitution, drugs, pornography, gambling, and loan-sharking, that large numbers of citizens desire and for which they are willing to pay (Von Hentig, 1997).
Since Prohibition, syndicated crime has largely been conducted by an Italian-American syndicate, variously termed the Mafia or Cosa Nostra. So much has been written about this group that it is difficult to separate myth from the fact. However, it seems to be a loose network or confederation of regional syndicates coordinated by a commission composed of the heads of the most powerful crime families. The Mafia operates a vast system of political corruption and employs violence and intimidation against victims, rivals, and renegades (Saney, 1996).
Having piled up enormous profits from drug dealing and gambling, the Mafia has diversified into entertainment, labor unions, construction, trucking, vending machines, garbage carting toxic waste disposal, banking and insurance, as well as stock fraud and extortion (Woods and Woods, 2005). In recent years, however, the Mafia has been under siege: A series of federal trials has severely crippled its aging leadership, younger members are proving less dedicated than those of earlier generations, and foreign competition in narcotics has undercut Mafia operations (Saney, 1996).