chapter  5
19 Pages

The Embedded and Multiplex Nature of Al Capone

WithAndrew V. Papachristos, Chris M. Smith

One of the distinguishing characteristics of organized crime is the extent to which it intermingles with non-criminal domains of society. In some instances, such as the case of labor racketeering in the 1950s and 1960s (Jacobs, 2006), this infusion of organized crime into legitimate institutions is in toto. But, more typically, the daily grind and schemes of organized crime require some basic level of integration into the non-criminal world, if only to pay a cop to look the other way, to find legitimate businesses to flip stolen goods, or to partner with wire services for bookmaking operations. In short, organized crime’s existence is contingent on its embeddedness within larger political, cultural, and economic networks.