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Social Fabric and Quality of Life

The Business of Organised Crime

Assistant Professor Nafis Hanif

Podcast copyright: Singapore Management University.

Some researchers believe that ethnic homogeneity among gang members, or that criminal groups of different ethnicities, are perpetually at war with one another, leading them to conclude that organised crime is a racial phenomenon.  However, Assistant Professor Nafis Hanif from SMU’s School of Social Sciences who studies crime and behaviour, prefers to look at organised crime from a business angle.

Assistant Professor Nafis’ research shows the importance of analysing illegal markets, as it offers a way of understanding crime businesses as a social system, and the factors which explain their emergence, persistency, profitability, sustainability and growth.

Her extensive field research on media piracy had taken her to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she lived for four years. She had also spent considerable time with distribution syndicates at shopping malls all over Malaysia, talking to syndicate leaders and slowly gaining their trust for her research.

In this podcast, Assistant Professor Nafis shares her field experience and the findings of her work using qualitative methods and participant observation.

November 2014