PICT103 Module 11.pptx

PICT103 Module 11.pptx - PICT103 Introduction to...

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Dr James Martin Week 11 – Gangs and Gangsters PICT103: Introduction to Criminology
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Lecture outline Definitions and issues Gangs in Australia Symbols and rituals Biker gangs Organised crime Black markets Violence as a commodity Crime as governance La Cosa Nostra The evil empire Criminal networks and disorganised crime
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Part I Defining the problem
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What is organised crime? Problematic and contested term Usually associated with serious crimes “A group of people who act together on a long-term basis to commit crimes for gain” (Levi 1998:335). Definitional problems include determining thresholds for the following: Total numbers involved Length of association Degree of organisation (division of labour, hierarchy, etc.) Seriousness of crime committed
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What is a gang? Also a problematic, difficult to define and contested term Similar to organised crime, except for an emphasis on youth and identity Defined by the US National Gang Centre (2013) as: 1. Having three or more members, generally aged 12-24 2. Members share an identity, typically linked to a name, and often other symbols 3. Members view themselves as a gang, and they are recognised by others as a gang 4. The group has some permanence and a degree of organisation 5. The group is involved in an elevated level of criminal activity
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A dangerous gang?
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Media (mis)representation ‘Gang’ and ‘gang member’ are emotive terms that imply a serious degree of threat Often overused and imply a level of organisation and exclusive identity that may not be present Sometimes applied to groups of youths that are perceived as threatening Wrongly describing youth groups as gangs can lead to moral panics and negative labelling
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Gangs in history Long history of gang association in Australia Linked to rapid urban growth, particularly in Sydney and
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