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Theories of Crime and Deviance

Questions for:

Haller, Mark H. (2013) Illegal Enterprise: The Work of Historian Mark Haller (M. G. Yeager, ed.). New York: University Press of America.

Pages 35-60

  1. How does the involvement of immigrants connect to the locations within Chicago of illegal enterprise organizations?
  2. What three clusters of occupational pathways were open to “young persons in the ethnic ghettos”?
  3. In this “third group of interrelated professions”, what were the various avenues open to young uneducated ethnic immigrants?
  4. In what ways did organized crime influence other social worlds?
  5. “It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of organized crime in the management of politics in many wards of the city?” Why? What activities are behind this?
  6. How does this social structure advantage the crime bosses?
  7. “In a social system held together by friendships and favors, the attitude toward law and legal institutions was complex” (41). Explain. How do these dynamics link to current “crises of legitimacy” in police or courts?
  8. How did the ethnic specialization work?
  9. How did prohibition create opportunities?
  10. “Those groups that became most heavily involved in organized crime migrated from regions in which they had developed deep suspicions of governmental authority …. Within a community suspicious of courts and government officials, a person in trouble with the law could retain roots and even respect within the community” (46). Do  you see implications for today?
  11. In what three ways did organized crime affect ethnic communities? (47)
  12. What social connections helped translate wealth into leverage?
  13. How did racketeering connect organized crime to labor union activities? Small business organizations?
  14. “Organized crime existed because of wide customer demand.” (50) Implications?
  15. Why were the gansters’ relations “to ethnic groups and the city … always ambiguous”? (51).

PP 103-120

  1. What practical advantages do “the families” provide?
  2. What was “the family”
  3. What were the advantages of partnerships?
  4. Was loan sharking violent in Philadelphia? How did this profile link to the presence of the Bruno family?
  5. Explain the regulatory functions provided by the Bruno family.
  6. Why were family members seen as good citizens by South Philadelphia residents?

Questions for Smith and Papachristos

1. Whose networks, during what time period, were examined
2. What does it mean to say that ties within a network have the quality of multiplexity?
3. Do you think the networks of the Bruno family in Philadelphia included multiplex dyadic relationships? Explain


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