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Friday, 16 December 2011 18:08

Organized Crime And Social Institutions Featured

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Organized Crime And Social Institutions

Organized crimes are groups of individuals that are involved in illegal acts for purposes of making money. In many instances these criminal organizations are centralized and ran on a national, local or across different nations. A social institution is defined as a group of individuals lived in an organized arrangement with the sole purpose of achieving a certain goal.

Organized crime is seen as a social institution in that the individual involved in the criminal activities work together towards achieving the same goals. The terrorist’s gangs for instance have for decades worked together across the nations in the world under one leader (Shanty, 2008). The terrorist serves the sole purpose of punishing those nations and individuals that they find to be oppressive as well as those against their extremist activities.
Modern organized crime has legit and illegitimate business endeavors. The legitimate business endeavors acts as a cover up for all the other criminal activities that the gang engages in. ordinarily social institutions are structured in a particular way, firstly they have a central leader who gives order and is followed by his followers. For instance Osama bin Laden was the leader of Al-Qaeda, a criminal and that is to-date responsible for the loss of millions of lives due to their criminal acts.
Social institutions are found in every society and focus mainly on relations, duty and responsibilities of each and every individual. Similarly the criminal organization can also be viewed as a social institution as it has relations, leaders, followers as well as obligations. Just like any social institutions criminal gangs have am means of economic endowment. Some are funded by their wealthy followers while other receives money through criminal ways such as kidnapping ransoms and hijack ransoms (Shanty, 2008).
One of the most commonly used empirical and speculative theory that has been used when referring to organized crime and criminal behavior is the alien conspiracy theory (Shanty, 2008). This theory also referred to as the queer ladder of mobility holds the notion that individuals that purport themselves to be outsiders with reference to the dominant group in the society have a tendency to form organized crime in the society. This theory clearly explains the prevalence of criminal gangs such as the Mafia in Italy and Irish. These criminal gangs were originally formed by minority population. The theory further states that the minority groups form criminal gangs in an effort to gain power and control.
These criminal gangs therefore begin to engage in criminal activities such as kidnappings, drug trafficking and illegal soliciting of funds in an effort to gin popularity and power within their community. The leader becomes the prominent member of the group and leads the gang into their criminal activities and behavior in the society (Shanty, 2008). These gangs are well organized and structured and are difficult to break once they become formed and established within the community. One example of a well established criminal gang include the Taliban which has been control of Afghanistan since 1996.The group has remained strong an organized for years even after they were overthrown by Operation Enduring freedom. The organization was able to regroup in Pakistan as an insurgency, an armed rebellion against authoritative power (Shanty, 2008).


Shanty, F. (2008).Organized crime: from trafficking to terrorism. ABC-CLIO

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