Gang organizations in the US are broadly categorized into three categories namely street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs and prison gangs. Organized group gangs are more sophisticated and they tend to have a broader reach, making it hard for the government to get rid of them thoroughly. Starting with the similarities, both traditional mafia family and outlaw motorcycle gangs began soon after the end of the WW2. Both groups are characterized by well-developed hierarchy structures and systems, with leaders having more controlling power over the rest of the members of the gangs (Johnson, 2012). In addition, both groups are involved in violent illegal activities such as drug trafficking, arms trafficking and other major crimes.
On the other hand, the two gangs are characterized by some differences. To start with, the outlaw motorcycle gangs began as motorbike sporting groups after the end of the WW2, and they rode across the country finally establishing a rebellious and adventurous group of young people(Lauchs, Mark, Andy & Peter, 2015). The growth of the traditional mafia family in the US, on the other hand, was fuelled by the successful trade of illicit alcohol after the implementation of the alcohol prohibition policies soon after the end of the WW2 (Lauchs, Mark, Andy & Peter, 2015).Additionally, unlike the motorcycle gangs which sprouted from groups of young riders, the mafia family finds its roots in some common identified families including the Genovese, Bonamo, Lucchese, Colombo and Gambino.
In addition, registration into the mafia family involved a series of rituals and initiation ceremonies where a new member would do such activities as pricking their finger to draw blood before taking oaths of loyalty (Johnson, 2012). The family further found its roots in American-Italian members who came together with the aim of engaging and carrying out the illegal business of selling illegal alcohol, before the group later grew and started participating into such violent crimes such as drug and body tracking.
Johnson Jr, Earl. “Organized crime: Challenge to the American legal system.” J. Crim. L. Criminology & Police Sci.53 (2012): 399.
Lauchs, Mark, Andy Bain, and Peter Bell. “Organized crime and outlaw motorcycle gangs.” Outlaw motorcycle gangs: a theoretical perspective. Palgrave Pivot, London, 2015. 22-37.
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