Mafia: The Prototypical Alien Conspiracy

  title={Mafia: The Prototypical Alien Conspiracy},
  author={Dwight C. Smith},
  journal={The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science},
  pages={75 - 88}
  • Dwight C. Smith
  • Published 1 January 1976
  • Political Science
  • The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
The attractiveness of alien conspiracy theories in American public opinion stretches back to the early days of the Republic. "Mafia" has been the name of one such theory. When placed in context with other conspiracy theories, such as the Bavarian Illuminati scare of 1798- 1799 and the Red Scare of 1919-1920, the reasons for emergence of a "Mafia" theory in 1890-91, and again in 1946-1963, become clear. Contemporary public opinion regarding crime is heavily influenced by the post-World War II… 
History and the Study of Organized Crime
IN THE APRIL 1965 volume of the American Sociological Review, historian Stephan Thernstrom discussed what he termed, &dquo;The Perils of Historical Naivete.&dquo; Thernstrom’s target was a portion of
Myth, allegiances, and the study of social control
That sociology subscribes to certain popular myths and has aligned itself with the welfare of some groups over others complicates research into social control. This is especially so when the research
The perception of plot and conspiracy.
A theoretical analysis of the factors involved in perceiving a plot or conspiracy is presented. Three categories consisting of sociohistorical; social psychological, and personality processes were
The legislative recreation of RICO: Reinforcing the ``myth'' of organized crime
This paper uses historical content analysis to examine the implementation ofthe Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). It is argued thatthe historical events leading to the definition
Mafias als organisierte Dritte Mafias as organized third parties
In the scientific debate on mafias we find neither a common usage nor a shared understanding as to what characterizes a mafia as opposed to other forms of organized crime. To clarify the mafia con
The importation and re-exportation of organized crime: explaining the rise and fall of the Jamaican posses in the United States
During the 1980s and 1990s, Jamaican posses captured the imagination of the press corps, film makers, and numerous of criminal justice scholars in the United States. However, except for a few
The paradoxes of organized crime
The paper argues that the concept of organised crime inconsistently incorporates the following notions: a) the provision of illegal goods and services and b) a criminal organization, understood as a
The Black Hand: A Study in Moral Panic
This analysis reviews the history of Black Hand extortion in the City of Chicago and argues that the societal response to Black Hand activity constituted a moral panic. In addition, special emphasis
Controlling Organized Crime: A Critique of Law Enforcement Policy
Despite recent claims by federal law enforcement officials, efforts to reduce the level of organized crime have not met with success. This is the case because policy makers and the law enforcement
Mafias, Criminology of