skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 97909 Find in a Library
Title: Organized Crime (From Major Forms of Crime, P 191-220, 1984, Robert F Meier, ed. - See NCJ-97901)
Author(s): M Morash
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Alternatives to the 'alien conspiracy' definition of organized crime are presented as a means of recognizing that not only members of a criminal underworld but also politicians, business people, and law enforcement officials in the upperworld compose organized criminal groups.
Abstract: Data on patterns of organized group crime activity are separated by type of illegal activity, time period, and geographic area. Besides describing organized criminal group activity within a geographic area or an illicit market (gambling or loansharking), research has revealed organized crime in legitimate business firms which provide legal goods or services. Organized crime in legitimate firms involves infiltration or exploitation by threats or use of force. Notwithstanding considerable historical evidence that organized criminal group members have always varied in ethnic background, research indicates that most of the available information on organized crime focuses on Mafia participants. Criminological theories explaining the criminal actions, persistence, and composition of organized criminal groups can be categorized according to three major paradigms: the rational choice, functionalist, and conflict explanations. It is concluded, however, that there is no evidence that any of the efforts to control organized crime suggested by the various theoretical perspectives diminish the formation and illegal activities of organized criminal groups in the long run; there is some evidence they have undesired results. It is recommended that future research on organized crime focus on patterns of victimization and upper world participation in organized crime. Ninety-six references are listed.
Index Term(s): Definitions; Organized crime; Professional criminals
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.