Crime: Organized

Andrew V. Papachristos*, Sandy Y. Zhao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The problem of organized crime has captured the attention of scholarly research, federal legislation, popular culture, and the imagination of the public for decades. The definition, conceptualization, activities, and overall analysis of organized crime have also undergone important developments in sociology, political science, economics, law, and other interdisciplinary fields. This article offers an overview of this body of research with descriptions of the current understandings of (1) what constitutes organized crime/organized criminal groups and their activities and (2) different avenues of analysis and approaches to research on organized crime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • Crime
  • Criminology
  • Functional theories
  • Gray economy
  • Mafia
  • Organized crime
  • Patron-client structures
  • Social disorganization
  • Social network theory
  • Transnational crime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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