FYS*101*15 Description

First-Year Seminar

Did you know that al-Qaeda fighters submit expense reports and earn vacation days? This course looks at the surprisingly businesslike world of organized criminal enterprises. Examples include the Italian Mafia and 'Ndrangheta, Latin American drug cartels, Somali pirates, and American gangs. The study of organized crime draws on diverse materials: memoirs, interviews, sociology, economics, history, business, criminal investigation, journalism, and literature and film. By studying criminal enterprises, students will come to recognize the enduring challenges facing all organizations: optimizing the division of labor, competition, power struggles, establishing an enduring culture, and dealing with change and disruption. Students will develop skill and confidence in research, discussion, writing, and above all asking hard questions.