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Organized Crime: Ethnic-Versus Market-Based

Research and police documents that have attempted to cast light on the operation of organized crime groups have looked at their criminal operations in two ways: either as ethnic-based criminal operations or as market-based criminal operations. The first tends to see organized crime groups as fairly rigid in terms of structure and limited in membership to criminals from the same ethnicity (Italian organized crime, Jamaican organized crime, and so on). Market-based organized crime operations, by contrast, are seen to be loosely “structured” with networks of different members who fulfill different tasks within that specific illegal market. The individuals within the market-structured operations are designated based on their skills, their contacts, the services that they can provide to the operation. There may be no strict separation ...

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