Tony Sporano and the American Dream

David R. Simon, San Jose State University

The Sopranos is a television series about a mobster who goes to a psychiatrist. He does so because he suffers from an endless series of conflicts and contradictions. These contradictions are the same conflicts that mirror those that characterize the crimeogenic nature of American culture and society in the 21st century. This paper examines these conflicts in depth: our familial and sexual dysfunctions, our upperworld and underworld uses of violence, the maldistributions of power and wealth, and pandemic corruption, as well as the numerous interconnections that characterize the overall crime system that makes up the American crime problem. The paper concludes with some policy recommendations aimed at making inroads into the entire problem of crime.

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Updated 05/20/2006