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Has the media helped in portraying organized crime in New York City as an Italian-American stereotype?

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  1. Introduction
  2. The definitions of the terms organized crime and gangs
  3. Common federal and state crimes
  4. Articles that appeared for the searches
  5. The articles about the Italian Mafia
  6. Conclusion
  7. Bibliography

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. [...]

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