Criminal groups and criminal subculture



The paper provides a classification of criminal groups, structured by the following parameters: a) operation mode (secret/open), b) law-enforcement and administrative support (presence/absence). We describe four types of criminal groups: a) legitimized criminal organization, b) secret criminal organization engaged in illegal business, c) secret general crime group, and d) general crime group operating openly. The four types differ in the content of criminal subculture. Modern criminal subculture is seen from the perspective of its heterogeneity, depending on characteristics of the criminal group. Authors describe features of the organizational culture and subculture of each of these groups. We show similarity of the described criminal group types (focus on criminal values) and their differences related to the characteristics of the criminal subculture specific content.

General Information

Keywords: types of criminal groups, criminal groups subculture, classification of modern criminal groups, similarities and differences between criminal groups

Journal rubric: Psychology of Deviant and Criminal Behavior

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Romanova N.M. Criminal groups and criminal subculture [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2013. Vol. 3, no. 1 (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Natalia M. Romanova, PhD in Sociology, Head of Laboratory of Legal Psychology Faculty of Psychology, NG Chernyshevsky Saratov State University, Saratov, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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