When a person hears the word ‘gang’, several things may come to mind. In current times, a ‘gangster’ can be characterized by their baggy clothing, use of slang, violent behaviors, drug/alcohol use, etc. The term originally meant, as above defined, simply a group of peers who came together for a mutual cause.
If you think about it, the meaning really hasn’t changed. Even modern gangs still revolve around a mutual interest, even those such as drugs. In the sixties, there were groups of people with similar traits, called mafia. They seem complete opposites, but they are more similar than they may appear.
As previously mentioned, gangsters are characterized as their clothes; baggy, loose hanging, plain. Mafia, on the other hand, are seen as rich, classy, people who wear fancy tailored suits. The fancy attire they wore was essentially showing off that they were richer and looked nice all the time. There are numerous movies, games, and books that support these stereotypes, and they are generally accepted as true.
The reasons why they come together are also different. Mafia members were usually related by blood, which made the bond between each member close and personal.Gangs usually come together because of race or areas in which they live, making relations volatile and dangerous. With the mob, you don’t leave because it’s family.
Gangs you don’t leave because you can’t. The age range of gang members is typically between the ages of 14 and 20, making it easy to be pulled in to the gang, but difficult to be taken out. Since Mafia members are related and are close, there is no average age, but full involvement in the mafia begins at around the same age. In modern society, gangsters are seen as unorganized violent people.
In spite of that, there are many gangs that are very well organized. It is a requirement of the job. In order to do many things illegally, such as drug smuggling or drug production, it requires that they know what they’re doing; which they are unable to do very well if there is no plan of attack. Mafia did similar things.
They didn’t do exactly the same things, but the goal was the same. Mafia made money just about any way they could. They would gamble, smuggle drugs, bribe people, and threaten other businesses. The mafia used fear as a weapon too.
They could operate in broad daylight, because no one would go to the police because of what they could do. The 14th amendment made it so that they would be able to see their accuser in court, so even if the perpetrator was put in jail, the rest of the mob would know exactly who put him there. Even though this still happens today, it isn’t quite the same. Back then they were rich people who were in control of just about everything.
If you look at the two different types of organizations, at first they seem to be complete opposites.One is seen as poor, violent, and unorganized; the other rich, powerful, and in control. Other than looking at what they appear to be, they are actually quite the same. Both can be very violent, well organized, and threatening.
They both smuggle drugs and are in it for the money. Sure there are minor differences in the way they operate, but those are simple technicalities in the grand scheme of things. All though they might look like complete opposites, there are many other things that contribute to their overall character.