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Organized Crime Perception (Essay Sample)


Write a paper, describing your personal perception of organized crime upon entering this course. Identify any assumptions on which your perception is based, and answer the following questions: How would you describe or define organized crime? How does your perception compare to the definitions in the readings? What characteristics do you think are associated with organized criminal behavior? Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.


Personal Perception of Organized Crime and Comparison with Course Readings
Personal Perception of Organized Crime and Comparison with Course Readings
When I began this course, my perception of organized crime was associated with drug dealing, human trafficking, illegal gambling, and the black market. I perceived organized crime to be the kind of illegal dealings carried out by mafia gangs and war lords who control certain territories, often involving the use of violence. In addition, my perception of organized crime was influenced by racial stereotyping. Consequently, I mostly associated organized crime with African Americans and Latinos. Perhaps this perception was influenced by the media's coverage of criminal activities involving drug trafficking. In almost all cases of drug and black market dealing I watched on TV, they involved people of African-American or Latin origin. In this regard, my definition or description of organized crime is that it is the kind of illegal activities carried out by organized gangs involved in activities like human and drug trafficking, and tends to be associated with immigrants and persons of black and Latin origin.
From this definition, it is clear that my personal perception of organized crime is based on the assumption that all forms of organized crime are carried out by people from certain racial backgrounds. Similarly, my perception of organized crime was based on the assumption that it was exclusive to blue collar criminal activities, that is, criminal acts carried out by people from the lower social classes, and are not involved in the formal employment sector. This assumption made my perception of organized crime rather narrow because it ignored the fact that white collar crime, which is mostly carried out by people from middle and upper social classes working in the formal employment sector, can also take the structure of organized crime.
My perception of organized crime compare with the definitions in the course readings by recognizing the structured nature of organized crime and the use of violence to intimidate rivals and control certain territories (Cottino, 1999). In the readings, organized crime is described as an enterprise by a group of persons who engage in illegal activities for the purpose of generating profits. In addition, organized crime is carried out in a systematic manner, meaning that the people who are involved in organized c...
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