The Sopranos and the Perpetuated Mafiosi Image A life of organized crime, fancy cars, machine guns, beautiful women, money, power and family; these are the images that have perpetuated the associations of Italian-Americans with the Mafia in film and television for decades. It is in this traditional Godfather fashion that the HBO hit series The Sopranos continues to perpetuate this stereotypical image into the 21st century. From classic films like The Godfather and Goodfellas, to miniseries events like Bella Mafia and The Last Don, to the dramatic series The Sopranos, Italian-Americans have traditionally been portrayed as gangsters and mobsters and have been seen living the lives of organized criminals. Italian-Americans and the Mafia have traditionally been linked in popular culture and The Sopranos is no exception. "It's undeniable that the dominant pop-culture images of Italian-Americans have been the mobster and the related, anti-working class stereotype of the boorish gavone" (De Stefano 32).
President Harrison who disproved of the vigilantes and gave a large cash settlement to the families ... ... middle of paper ... ...ia consists of a large group of glorified thieves, pickpockets and murderers. Although it began with the adoption of much of the Sicilian heritage it has evolved into an organization that's sole purpose is to make money using any illegal means possible. The members of the American Mafia use extortion, bootlegging, prostitution, gambling, kidnapping, and murder to achieve their ends. The above research has shown that the Mafia has become a wide spread problem. The Mafia has continued to grow and infest our society from the early 1900's.
“Don (term for the boss or head of a Mafia family) Vito Cascio Ferro fled to the United States in 1901 to escape arrest. He is known as the Father of American Mafia.” (La Cosa Nostra) Many Italian immigrants came to the United States through Ellis Island in New York, which is today the most important center of organized Mafia crime in the United States. The new American Mafia came to power during the Prohibition by organizing the sale of outlawed alcohol, but after Prohibition was revoked, the Mafia needed a new “racket.” During the war, the Mafia got government issued ration stamps and sold them on the black market. These days the Mafia is involved in running prostitution, unions, construction, and gambling. New York, also called the “City that never sleeps,” houses the Five Families of New York.
The final example is that congress even had to get involved into the war against the mafia. “In 1970, Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, which proved to be a powerful tool in the government’s war on the Mafia.”(American Mafia US History) It’s obvious that the mafia has influenced our government in good and bad ways. From helping stop the spread of communism to influencing elections its obvious the mafia has played a bigger role in politics than most people realize. The selling of illegal substances, prostitution, and illegal gambling were some ... ... middle of paper ... ...er only hours after the assassination can only raise speculation to why the mafia was so quick to silence him. After the Cuban missile crisis America was very tense with Cuba.
The Mafia: Wealth and Politics in the 1920 MAFIA - "a secret association having for its object the illicit control of any enterprise, legitimate or illegitimate, which it decides to infiltrate" (Allen 6). The decade of the 1920s was full of deception, corruption, and degeneration. The very embodiment of these qualities was the institution of the Italian-American Mafia. The syndicate began in Sicily and spread to encompass United States politics and the national economy. The post war era left the nation in a recession and vulnerable to organized crime.
To gain a foothold in Europe, the Colombians have got to strike deals with the Mafia, which ironically guards its home turf. (273) Italy in general, has added to the crime list of the Mafia for over 100 years. The famous Al Capone, the Italian-American gangster of the Prohibition era, also known as Scarface because of a knife cut to his cheek. (Nash 79) He was born Alphonse Capone in Naples, Italy, and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He left school at an early age and spent nearly ten years "hanging-out" with gangs.
It has found a place within its ranks for business-school graduates, and it has adopted modern banking methods and invested in legitimate corporate ventures.” The Mafia, also known as La Cosa Nostra, is generally composed of Italians or Italian-Americans that work together as entrepreneurial criminals. La Cosa Nostra literally means “The thing ours” but is loosely translated as “our thing.” The Mafia traces its roots back to Sicily, Italy in the 9th century AD when its purpose was to guard the feudal estates of wealthy landlords. When members of the Sicilian Mafia immigrated to the United States they initially excelled in extortion, but soon adopted gambling and prostitution as business ventures. In order to understand the role the Mafia has played in the United States, it is first necessary to study the formation and role of the Mafia in Italy. The Sicilian Mafia is said to have formed around the ninth century when Arabic tribes invaded Sicily.
Without the Mafia’s contribution to crime, RICO and the Untouchables would never have existed therefore leaving drug cartels to be apprehended by unspecialized police officers. The Mafia is one of the most influential groups to affect American society because it affected the past and continues to affect the present. Works Cited Lunde, Paul. Organized Crime: An Inside Guide to the World’s Most Successful Industry. 2004.
Many of immigrants came from economically downtrodden southern Italy, with many Mafia members in Sicily and Naples who were fleeing the rule of fascist Benito Mussolini, who began to crackdown on the Mafia in Italy. Although it became a separate coalition, the Cosa Nostra can trace its roots to the Sicilian Mafia, and other Italian criminal groups. The Mob, at its height, stretched from coast to coast, but was most active in New York, the crown-jewel of organized crime. It was a huge influence in other major metropolitan cities like New Jersey, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Texas. In New York five families reigned supreme: the Gambino, Lucchese, Genovese, Bonanno and Colombo families.