Posted at 10.08.2018
The Italian mafia came up to power in America in the 1920's from Sicily, Italy (Personnel). It became known as prepared crime (also called "the Mob") and became focused in NEW YORK, divided among five major crime families, including nineteen additional family products around the united states (Jrank). The five major individuals were the Bonnano, Columbo, Gambino, Genovese, and Lucchese family members who were sorted out through the efforts of Salvatore Charles ("Lucky") Luciano. (Jrank). This was the start of the very powerful counterculture American criminal offenses syndicate. A counterculture is a subcultural practice, which is consciously designed to challenge the worth of the bigger culture, rejecting the major ideals, norms, and practices of the larger society, and replaces them with a new set of social patterns (Thomas).
From a "sociological point of view, " which is "a look beyond commonly kept beliefs to the hidden meanings behind real human actions, " Lucky Luciana's special contribution to the success of the mafia depended on his running the show like a legitimate business, predicated on profit and loss capitalism as a plank of directors would be run with a CEO (Thomas 4). One major difference, however, was that Luciano, as the CEO, conducted business as an absolute dictator who saw no limitations on taking down oppositional viewpoints through assault. It was as an inner government within the bigger society that got factions within (like political parties, in cases like this opposing families) that conducted wars against one another.
"Sociological Imagination" as described by C. Wright Mills is "the ability to see the interconnection between the greater world and your personal life. " It is also "the capacity to range from the most impersonal and remote control [issues] to the most romantic top features of the individuals self-and to start to see the relations between the two" (Thomas 5). Luciano started out his career in the best business as a clerk for a head wear company around 1914. But by 1916, he was coping with drugs and acquired his major run-in with regulations, which earned him half a year at a reformatory to the offense (Editors). From that point on, Luciano received associated with other questionable businesses such as bootlegging, prostitution, gambling, loan sharking (charging high interest rates), drug distribution as an all natural expansion of bootlegging, and labor racketeering (Jrank, 2/5). Many of these enterprises acquired certain small degrees of legitimacy but always finished up tinged with major degrees of criminality, illegal functions, and different deviant legal procedures. Luciano and his fellow fellow workers saw no conflicts in carrying out these controversial businesses with an flat iron palm and with few moral and moral considerations.
"Ethnocentrism" is defined by W. LaVerne Thomas as "the trend to view one's own culture and group as superior. " Furthermore, it's the perception that the characteristics of one's group or society are right and good, assisting to build group unity. " (Thomas, 35). This kind of situation was an extremely dominant characteristic of the American mafia company in its heyday. It was initiated from Sicilian culture in Italy, and almost all the bosses and godfathers who led the family organizations got origins in Italian culture that originated from Sicily. The New York mafia was dominated by New York's five major households previously mentioned, along with other more modest Italian young families with brands like Profaci, Gagliano, Mangano, Marazano, and Masseria. (Bio, 2/4). The only path to go up in the organization of the brand new York mafia was to be geographically positioned in the brand new York City area and become of Italian (preferably Sicilian) heritage. There were major exceptions to the Italian rule, however, most notably Blessed Luciano's most respected and important Jewish friends and allies from his youth-Meyer Lansky and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel. (Bio, 1/4). Nevertheless, neither of these two non-Italians was ever in a position to climb to the the surface of the authority of the mafia firm or lead one of the major or slight Sicilian crime family members. There have been also other ethnic communities that competed with the American Italian mafia-primarily the Irish, Russians, and Polish organizations.
Thomas defines "Cultural relativism" as an frame of mind in which there's a belief that cultures should be judged by their own specifications rather than by applying the requirements of another culture. " Quite simply, it is the "try to understand cultural procedures from the items of view of the people of the population being researched, " (Thomas, 36), In the case of the American mafia that was based on Sicilian origins; this means that ethics and morality came from a culture that is male-dominant, sexist, and machismo. There was always a defined code: It was an assortment of ethics, companionship, family, property, and lifestyle intermixed with violence, corruption, trust, faith, and "a certain sense of honor. " (Gambetta). The family always arrived first with a strong sense of commitment. It had been run as a genuine true authorities, but a "clandestine" one that was "better obeyed" and even "better recognized. " (Reppetto)
I cannot say that I buy into the basic viewpoint of the Italian American mafia as described in this paper as an example of any good countercultural school of thought. Although they appear to have an organized structure that imitates the framework of your overall American federal government and society working in just a capitalistic for-profit basis, what it is certainly lacking at its primary is an acceptable moral and moral code predicated on democratic principles. They are totalitarian in dynamics, prone to violence against the poor and less powerful, and definitely ethnocentric, sexist, and out generally because of their own good. They don't look after the needs of the normal man, only themselves. This is one way they in essence keep themselves in control and have ability over everyone else. This is one way they make an effort to be above the common laws and liberties of the land. Their very life flies when confronted with the united states Constitution. Even after Lucky Luciano was in prison at the tail end of his profession, he tried to offer the US assist in the war work during World Conflict II "by using his unlawful cable connections in Italy to progress the Allies' cause. " (Bio) This work, of course, was turned down by the government, but it really revealed how Luciano's ethics and moral bottom was constantly challenged and off bottom part. Even later than that, after Lucky Luciano was deported to Italy, never to return to the united states legally, he journeyed to Cuba where he was also later deported back again to Italy because of legal activity, where he continued to be under surveillance rather than allowed to leave Naples. He was still associated with drug trafficking in those days until his fatality at a Naples Airport terminal in January of 1962. Ironically, he was on his way to meet with a film and television set producer who was going to make a movie about his life as an infamous "hero/villain" of the 20th century. In my opinion, Lucky Luciano is certainly more than a footnote of background, but he and the mafia are not proud examples of a morally satisfactory counterculture lifestyle.
Editors, Biography. com. The biography. com website. 15 June 2015. 9 march 2017.
Gambetta, D. The Sicilian Mafia. 1993. Harvard College or university Press.
Jrank, law. laws. jrank. org. 2015. 10 march 2017.
Reppetto, T. American Mafia: A BRIEF HISTORY of Its Climb to Power. Kindle.
Staff, history. com. record. com. 2009. 9 march 2017.
Thomas, W. LaVerne. "Cultural Diversity. " Holt, Rinehart, Winston. Holt Sociology The study of Human Romantic relationships. Austin: A Harcourt Education Company, 2003. 39.