This question is being researched because when people hear words and phrases such as organized crime, the Mafia, La Cosa Nostra (another name for the Italian Mafia), and the Mob they usually believe it involves people of Italian heritage. Shows and movies such as the Sopranos, the Godfather trilogy, Goodfellas, Analyze This & Analyze That, Donnie Brasco, The Untouchables, A Bronx Tale, and Casino have all helped shape this image. However, Hollywood is not the only one to blame, the news media is also responsible for framing this image. They have created the stereotype of an Italian-American. The stereotypical Italian-American who is a fat, violent, mean, hairy guy, with a Brooklyn accent, too much hair gel, and a lot of gold jewelry. The media has been responsible for framing the stories involving these typical' Italian-American Mafia members. This misrepresentation has now become a part of our view of Italian-Americans. This misrepresentation can be seen in the names of the clothes that Italian-Americans predominantly wore in the past. Clothing such as Guinea Tees' and Wife-Beaters,' which are worn by millions of people who are not of Italian descent, have been given a negative name associated with Italian-Americans. These negative associations of Italian-Americans are now instilled in the minds of millions of people.
[...] I am going about my research by searching on LexisNexis for articles about organized crime in the New York Times between 1990 and 2000. This decade should provide worthy information because there was a lot of media attention given to organized crime during this time period. I am using many different search methods and looking at many different articles about organized crime in New York City. I have narrowed searches down to organized crime and New York City, the last space is left for one more word in order to get specific articles. [...]
[...] The fourth search, on the Mob, resulted in 316 articles, in which at least 50 were relevant to the Italian organized crime industry. The fifth search, Russians, resulted in 33 articles, only eight of which have relevance to the Russian Mafia and one about the Italian Mafia. This search resulted in four articles when combined with mob or mafia, two of which are relevant and one of those two is about an Italian crime boss working with the Russian Mob. [...]
[...] This connection made with organized crime and the Italian-Americans in New York City is blatantly evident from the everyday newspapers of the past. This research was limited to the years between 1990 and 2000, however, it is a safe assumption to say that even before the 1990s the news media has had greater interests in connecting organized crime and Italian-Americans. Especially since organized crime was at its peak in the 1970s. It was not only at its highest point in power and influence in the country, but in Hollywood cinema as well. [...]
[...] In the articles about the Russian Mafia, about one percent of the words are categorized as negative, and approximately three percent were about the nationality of the organized crime gang, either by Russian names inside the organization or by mention of Russia or the Soviet Union. Even though stories about the Russian organized crime enterprise have been published, Italian organized crime clearly has much more news coverage. But this does not explain why these articles contained far more mention of Italian- Americans than any other nationality involved in organized crime. The news media has written about Italian-Americans' involvement in organized crime many more times than they have written about the other nationalities. The difference, in all aspects, is staggering. [...]
[...] In order to narrow down the results to search for specific articles pertaining to organized crime in New York City, I had to combine searches as follows: the first was organized crime, New York City, and Italian, the second search was organized crime, New York City, and Mafia, the third was organized crime, New York City, and Cosa Nostra, the fourth was organized crime, New York City, and Mob, the fifth was organized crime, New York City, and Russian, the sixth was organized crime, New York City, and Asian, the seventh was organized crime, New York City, and Jewish, and the eighth was organized crime, New York City, and Colombian. [...]
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