The Rizzuto Family Case Study

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The Rizzuto family is an Italian-Canadian organized crime family based in Montreal, Quebec. The family has a multi-million-dollar international empire and are involved with many illegal activities including, “large-scale construction fraud, drug trafficking, extortion, bribery, stock manipulation, loansharking and money laundering (Nicaso, 2017. par. 1). There are many large players in this family, including the previous leader, Nicolo Rizzuto, and the current leader, Vito Rizzuto. One way to try and understand why this whole family is involved in crime, is to apply ideas from learning theories, such as Sutherland’s Differential Association theory, where it is thought that criminal behaviour is learned through social interactions (Lilly, Ball & Cullen, 2015, p .44). Differential Association theory is a social-psychology theory that…show more content…
Sutherland’s first three principles discuss how criminal behaviour is learned within intimate personal groups and through a process of communication (Lilly, Ball & Cullen, 2015, p. 45). This fits with the family. One can use Leonardo as an example. Due to the fact that he grew up in a family that was very involved with crime, Leonardo would have been exposed with criminal culture growing up more than conventional culture, which according to Sutherland, would allow him to accept the criminal lifestyle easier. This point also fits in with principle six states that a person will get involved in criminal activity due to: “an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of the law” (Lilly, Ball & Cullen, 2015, p. 45). With authority figures in his life such as his grandfather and father as the head of the organized crime family, along with the rest of his family, criminal activity would be seen as normal, as everyone participates in

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