Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate

Princeton University Press
2
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How do criminals communicate with each other? Unlike the rest of us, people planning crimes can't freely advertise their goods and services, nor can they rely on formal institutions to settle disputes and certify quality. They face uniquely intense dilemmas as they grapple with the basic problems of whom to trust, how to make themselves trusted, and how to handle information without being detected by rivals or police. In this book, one of the world's leading scholars of the mafia ranges from ancient Rome to the gangs of modern Japan, from the prisons of Western countries to terrorist and pedophile rings, to explain how despite these constraints, many criminals successfully stay in business.

Diego Gambetta shows that as villains balance the lure of criminal reward against the fear of dire punishment, they are inspired to unexpected feats of subtlety and ingenuity in communication. He uncovers the logic of the often bizarre ways in which inveterate and occasional criminals solve their dilemmas, such as why the tattoos and scars etched on a criminal's body function as lines on a professional résumé, why inmates resort to violence to establish their position in the prison pecking order, and why mobsters are partial to nicknames and imitate the behavior they see in mafia movies. Even deliberate self-harm and the disclosure of their crimes are strategically employed by criminals to convey important messages.


By deciphering how criminals signal to each other in a lawless universe, this gruesomely entertaining and incisive book provides a quantum leap in our ability to make sense of their actions.

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About the author

Diego Gambetta is Official Fellow of Nuffield College and professor of sociology at the University of Oxford. He is the author of The Sicilian Mafia: The Business of Private Protection and editor of Making Sense of Suicide Missions.
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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jul 18, 2011
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781400833610
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Services & Welfare
Social Science / Criminology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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For many people around the world, instances of what is described as organized crime may be part of their everyday experience; in their neighbourhoods, their streets, and the places they work and live. Policymakers, law enforcement, and the media rarely fail to bring up the issue when discussing the nature and seriousness of contemporary criminal threats, and the appropriate responses towards them. Many more people are familiar with the notion of organized crime, as the film and TV industry regularly draw on fictional and real figures and situations. Organized crime feels like a tangible, inescapable issue in today's world. In this Very Short introduction, Georgios A. Antonopoulos and Georgios Papanicolaou uncover the reality of organized crime in our world today. Shining a light on the people involved in organized crime, Antonopoulos and Papanicolaou question whether the term 'organized' is used to evoke the image, the operations, and power of a legitimate organization, such as a corporation. Discussing whether there are particular crimes that the label 'organized crime' applies to, or if any crime can be organized, they also consider what happens when organized crime extends beyond borders. Using examples from across the globe, they analyse the different cultural traditions of organized crime, such as the Mafia, Yakuza, and Triads, and also the nature of organized crime, from arms trafficking and drug dealing to extortion. Finally they explore the methods and agencies in place to control and prevent organized crime. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
In a world of growing interdependence, crimes are no longer confined by national boundaries. In this context, the necessity to understand criminological developments across the globe becomes imperative. This book aims to offer cross-cultural perspectives of different criminological issues and criminal justice systems operating worldwide. This book emphasizes the collective understanding of criminological problems from an international perspective. This book is a quintessence of contemporary criminological developments, with a global outlook.

The book is an edited volume of articles collected from criminologists all over the world. It is a peer reviewed collection. The chapters focuses on various criminological issues such as Bullying, Child abuse, Corrections (Institutional and Community), Cyber crimes, Corporate crime, Corruption, Costs of crime, Crime Analysis, Crime prevention, Crime Mapping and GIS, Criminal justice systems, Environmental crime, Ethnic/communal/caste conflicts, Family violence, Fear of crime, High tech crimes, Homicide, Human trafficking, Juvenile Delinquency, Organized crime, Offenders including women offenders, Policing, Prisons, Public attitudes, Restorative justice, Sexual assault, Stalking, Theories of crime, Transnational crime, Victimology, Violence, White collar crime, and Workplace violence.

The book aims to provide theoretical frameworks and pragmatic discussions on Criminology and Criminal Justice. It is intended for Academics, Criminal Justice professionals, and Graduate Students who want to improve their understanding of the issues and challenges that arise when issues related to criminology and criminal justice cross national boundaries. Also, practitioners and academics of allied fields like sociology, psychology, geography, political science, public administration and forensic sciences whose research interests include either crime/criminal justice system/Victim or crime analysis will find this book useful.

“The comprehensive framework of this book means that it provides a rich variety of international perspectives on an array of crime and justice-related issues. The thirty chapters presented here are a treasure trove of insights in terms of both topical variety and approaches within topic. Dr. Jaishankar has assembled a valuable collection of readings that will find broad acceptance internationally.”

Prof. Keith Harries (From the Foreword)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Evicted meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land's memoir about working as a maid, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Includes a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich.

At 28, Stephanie Land's plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer, were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly.

She wrote the true stories that weren't being told: the stories of overworked and underpaid Americans. Of living on food stamps and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) coupons to eat. Of the government programs that provided her housing, but that doubled as halfway houses. The aloof government employees who called her lucky for receiving assistance while she didn't feel lucky at all. She wrote to remember the fight, to eventually cut through the deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor.

Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it's like to be in service to them. "I'd become a nameless ghost," Stephanie writes about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients' lives-their sadness and love, too-she begins to find hope in her own path.

Her compassionate, unflinching writing as a journalist gives voice to the "servant" worker, and those pursuing the American Dream from below the poverty line. Maid is Stephanie's story, but it's not her alone. It is an inspiring testament to the strength, determination, and ultimate triumph of the human spirit.
The violent actions of a few extremists can alter the course of history, yet there persists a yawning gap between the potential impact of these individuals and what we understand about them. In Engineers of Jihad, Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog uncover two unexpected facts, which they imaginatively leverage to narrow that gap: they find that a disproportionate share of Islamist radicals come from an engineering background, and that Islamist and right-wing extremism have more in common than either does with left-wing extremism, in which engineers are absent while social scientists and humanities students are prominent.

Searching for an explanation, they tackle four general questions about extremism: Under which socioeconomic conditions do people join extremist groups? Does the profile of extremists reflect how they self-select into extremism or how groups recruit them? Does ideology matter in sorting who joins which group? Lastly, is there a mindset susceptible to certain types of extremism?

Using rigorous methods and several new datasets, they explain the link between educational discipline and type of radicalism by looking at two key factors: the social mobility (or lack thereof) for engineers in the Muslim world, and a particular mindset seeking order and hierarchy that is found more frequently among engineers. Engineers' presence in some extremist groups and not others, the authors argue, is a proxy for individual traits that may account for the much larger question of selective recruitment to radical activism.

Opening up markedly new perspectives on the motivations of political violence, Engineers of Jihad yields unexpected answers about the nature and emergence of extremism.

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