History on the mafia.

Essay by cindygoUniversity, Bachelor'sA, July 2003

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The world the Mafia has always held such fascination for most of us, probably ever since the first time we saw gangster themed movies. The popular view of the Mafia, as prompted by the media, regards them as dangerous, mysterious, exciting, and held together by family ties which explains why we are inevitably drawn to them. To many, they represent the "American Dream" realized because they have managed to break free form their humble roots as migrant workers in the United States to being business owners. They are also regarded admirably as some sort of modern day hero because they have managed to rule the big city streets while at the same time still adhering to their traditional Italian values.

The significance of this study aims to look at the Mafia and their history from their perspective to be able to determine how they have developed as an organization.

The structures that exist within each Mafia family unit will also be discussed in order to view the hierarchy and roles present that defines the extent of each individual's participation in the organization because much of the success of the Mafia seems to lie in their system of defining specific roles for its members to follow and execute.

The Mafia's three major business operations will also be discussed in order to see how efficient are the practices that they employ in order for their respective businesses to thrive. These three businesses are specifically going to be bootlegging, racketeering and loan sharking since these three are the operations they started with that eventually led them to other business enterprises.

The other perspective that will be used will be of the legitimate businessman's. Their view will be able to help explain the repercussions Mafia activities have on their respective businesses and also...