Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 23–38 | Cite as

Organized crime and ethnic reputation manipulation

  • Frank Bovenkerk
  • Dina Siegel
  • Damián Zaitch
Article

Abstract

Criminologists often use culture andethnicity to explain crime. In thistradition, organized crime is presentedwith an exotic flavor and the list oftransnational criminal organizations readslike an inventory of ethnic minorities andforeign groups. But the relation betweenethnicity and organized crime isproblematic to say the least. In the courseof our research on several groups active inthe Netherlands (Turkish and Kurdish heroindealers, Yugoslav and Russian-speaking mafiosi, Colombian cocaine dealers andNigerian prostitutes), we have learned toreverse the assumed causal relationship.Ethnic reputation manipulation is essentialto committing crime. This article arguesthat criminal groups and individualsexploit and construct ethnicity in variousways as they engage in criminal activities.Either concealing or emphasizing specificethnic reputations, they are able toaddress any number of audiences (insiders,outsiders, the law).

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abadinsky, H., Organized Crime (Chicago: Nelson Hall, 1990).Google Scholar
  2. Albanese, J., Organized Crime (Chicago: Nelson Hall, 1996).Google Scholar
  3. Albini, J.L., The American Mafia: Genesis of a Legend (New York: Appleton'Century'Crofts, 1971).Google Scholar
  4. Baumann, G., The Multicultural Riddle. Rethinking National. Ethnic, and Religious Identities (New York and London: Routledge, 1999).Google Scholar
  5. Bell, D., The End of Ideology (Glencoe Ill.: The Free Press, 1962).Google Scholar
  6. Block, A.A., East Side–West Side: Organizing Crime in New York, 1930'1950 (Swansea U.K.: Christopher Davis, 1979).Google Scholar
  7. Block, A.A., Organized Crime in the Netherlands: Research Issues and Public Policy, Paper for the Ministry of Justice, The Hague (April 5, 1993).Google Scholar
  8. Bovenkerk, F., “Organized Crime and Ethnic Minorities: Is There a Link?,” in P. Williams and D. Vlassis (eds.), Combating Transnational Crime. Concepts, Activities and Responses (ISPAC, Frank Cass Journal, 2001a) pp. 109'126.Google Scholar
  9. Bovenkerk, F., Misdaad Profielen (Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 2001b).Google Scholar
  10. Bovenkerk, F. and Y. Yesilgöz, De Maffia van Turkije (Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 1998).Google Scholar
  11. Cohen, A.P., Self'Consciousness. An Alternative Anthropology of Identity (London: Routledge, 1998).Google Scholar
  12. Commission parlementaire chargée d'enquêter sur la criminalité organisée en Belgique, Rapport Final (Brussels, 1998).Google Scholar
  13. CRI, afdeling Wetenschappelijke Recherche Advisering, Inventaris Criminele Groepen (Zoetermeer, 1988).Google Scholar
  14. Emler, N., “La réputation,” in S. Moscovici (ed.), Psychologie Sociale des Relations à Autrui (Paris: Nathan, 1994).Google Scholar
  15. Fijnaut, C., “Organized Crime: A Comparison Between The United States of America and Western Europe,” British Journal of Criminology 1999 (30:3), 321'340.Google Scholar
  16. Fijnaut, C. et al., Organized Crime in the Netherlands (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1998).Google Scholar
  17. Fox, S., Blood and Power. Organized Crime in Twentieth'Century America (New York: Penguin Books, 1989).Google Scholar
  18. Freiberg, K. and B.G. Thamm, Das Mafia'Syndrom (Hilden: Verlag Deutsche Polizei Literatur GMBH, 1992).Google Scholar
  19. Friedman, R.I., Red Mafiya. How the Russian Mob has Invaded America (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 2000).Google Scholar
  20. Gambetta, D., The Sicilian Mafia. The Business of Private Protection (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  21. Geertz, C., After the Fact. Two Countries, Four Decades, One Anthropologist (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995).Google Scholar
  22. Goffman, E., Stigma. Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1973).Google Scholar
  23. Ianni, F., BlackMafia. Ethnic Succession in Organized Crime (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974).Google Scholar
  24. Landesco, John, Organized Crime in Chicago. Part III of the Illinois Crime Survey 1929 (Chicago: Chicago University Press, [1929] (1968).Google Scholar
  25. Lyman, M.D. and G. Potter, Drugs in Society. Causes, Concepts and Control (Cincinnati: Anderson, 1996).Google Scholar
  26. Mangione, J. and B. Morreale, La Storia. Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience (New York: Harper Perennial, 1993).Google Scholar
  27. Martens, F.T. andM. Cunningham'Niederer, “MediaMagic, MafiaMania,” Federal Probation June 1985, 60'68.Google Scholar
  28. Meehan, S., Beyond the Mafia. Organized Crime in the Americas (Thousand Oaks etc., Sage, 1998).Google Scholar
  29. NCIS, An Outline Assessment of the Threat and Impact by Organised / Enterprise Crime upon the United Kingdom (London, 1993).Google Scholar
  30. Potter, G. and L. Gaines, “Organized Crime in Copperhead County: An Ethnographic Look at Rural Crime Networks,” in J. Albanese (ed.), Contemporary Issues in Organized Crime (Monseay New York: Criminal Justice Press, 1995) pp. 61'85.Google Scholar
  31. Rasing, T. et al., Een Schijn van Voodoo. Culturele Achtergronden van de Handel in Nigeriaanse Meisjes voor de Nederlandse Prostitutie: Een Verkenning (A Semblance of Voodoo. Cultural Background of the Trade in Nigerian Girls for Prostitution in the Netherlands: An Inquiry) (Leiden: African Study Centre, 1999).Google Scholar
  32. Reynolds, M., From Gangs to Gangsters. How American Sociology Organized Crime 1918 to 1994 (Guilderland NY: Harow and Heston, 1995).Google Scholar
  33. Roth, J., Die roten Bosse. Russlands Tycoone übernehmen die Macht in Europa (München and Zurich: Riper, 1998).Google Scholar
  34. Shelley, L.I., “Transnational Organized Crime: An Imminent Threat to the Nation'State?,” Journal of International Affairs 1995 (48:2), 463'489.Google Scholar
  35. Siegel, D., Russian Biznes in the Netherlands (The Hague: manuscript, 2001).Google Scholar
  36. Siegel, D. and F. Bovenkerk, “Crime and Manipulation of Identity among Russian'speaking Immigrants in the Netherlands,” Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 2001 (16:4), 424'444.Google Scholar
  37. Smith Jr., D.C., The Mafia Mystique (New York: Basic Books, 1975).Google Scholar
  38. Vaksberg, A., La mafia russe, comment on dévalise le pays depuis 70 ans (Paris: AlbinMichel, 1992).Google Scholar
  39. Van de Port, M., Gypsies, Wars and Other Instances of the Wild: Civilisation and its Discontents in a Serbian Town (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  40. Williams, P., “The New Threat: Transnational Criminal Organizations and International Security,” Criminal Organizations 1995 (9:3/4), 3'20.Google Scholar
  41. Zaitch, D., Trafficking Cocaine. Colombian drug entrepreneurs in the Netherlands (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 2002).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Bovenkerk
    • 1
  • Dina Siegel
    • 1
  • Damián Zaitch
    • 1
  1. 1.Rijksuniversiteit UtrechtWillem Pompe Instituut Voor StrafrechtswetenschappenUtrechtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations