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Journal Article

Violence and Organized Crime

Gilbert Geis
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 364, Patterns of Violence (Mar., 1966), pp. 86-95
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1034756
Page Count: 10
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Violence and Organized Crime
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Abstract

Violence in the world of organized crime has been more common than in other segments of the social structure, mostly because of the absence of alternative control systems available to the highly competitive enterprises that make up organized crime. In the lower-class gang, the future organized criminal learns the utility of violence and is recruited into groups which train him in other social and personal attributes of importance to a career in organized crime. These traits later assume a certain priority over direct physical coercion for successful work in organized crime, necessitating a balancing of adroitness and violence by the leadership. Today, though organized crime appears to be moving toward greater reliance on subtler manipulative techniques, its continued arrogation to itself of "the power to kill" provides one of the more interesting case studies in the institutionalization of violence.

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