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Disorganized Crime: Reuter's Thesis

Peter Reuter's work has been crucial in the promotion of the disorganized crime thesis. His controversial thesis on crime continues to be both influential and contested by academics. Reuter studied illegal markets in New York, focusing on such activities as drug dealing, loan-sharking, and illegal gambling rings. He sought to explore, and then dispel some of the myths concerning organized crime: “organized crime and illegal markets have been too long the source of myths. The truth may be less entertaining but it is certainly reassuring.” One such myth concerns the extent of Mafia involvement in illicit markets and Mafia domination of such markets. Reuter discusses how criminal groups are less organizationally unified than that which is often portrayed in the media and by law enforcement ...

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