This is the "Film and American Popular Culture: The Mafia in America" page of the "Organized Crime Research for Film and American Popular Culture" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Organized Crime Research for Film and American Popular Culture   Tags: crime, film, mafia, pop_culture, research, writing  

A reference guide for students preparing class presentations on the culture of the Mafia in America -- Italian, Jewish, and Irish.
Last Updated: Sep 10, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Film and American Popular Culture: The Mafia in America Print Page

Research Project Assignment as Word .doc

Requirements for the assignment from your teacher, including suggested timeline, additional resources, and rubric.


LibGuide Introduction


Welcome to the LibGuide for Film and American Popular Culture. We hope you will find useful materials here for your research project on the the reality of organized crime in America and the ways that was reflected in the films you've seen. Use the LibGuide's tabs to access relevant books, ebooks, journals, databases, and websites. The guide relies heavily on the work of Carol Moon of St. Leo University libraries, reused with permission.


Assignment Description

For this assignment, you will be researching the culture of the Mafia in America. Through our course of study this semester, we’ve seen the Italian Mafia (The Godfather – Part I, The Godfather – Part II, and Goodfellas) the Jewish Mafia (The Godfather – Part II), and the Irish Mafia (The Departed) portrayed in film. Of course, these stories are not pure works of fiction, and many of the characters you’ve encountered are based on real gangsters who wreaked havoc on American society.

As you conduct your research, you’ll focus on one of the ethnic groups listed above (Italian, Jewish, or Irish) and how the members of that group’s organized crime syndicate affected American culture. Your research should cover the following topics:

1. What is the history of the Mafia in the “Old Country” (Italy, Israel/Europe, or Ireland)?

2. How did the Mafia come to be and thrive in the “New Country” (the United States)?

3. Who were some of the major players in the Mafia?

4. What were some of the major criminal acts committed by the Mafia in America?

5. What effects (both immediate and long-lasting) did the Mafia have on American culture (law enforcement, 
public safety, religion, finance, politics, or other institutions)?

6. What elements of the actual Mafia are reflected in films you’ve seen?

7. Do you think the Mafia is still a viable source of conflict in American society today? Why or why not?


Project Requirements from Mrs. Cardullo

1. Your project is due in class on Tuesday, December 18. You’ll present your research to the class on Tuesday, December 18 (Day 1), Wednesday, December 19 (Day 2), or Friday, December 21 (Day 4 – if necessary). You may create either a PowerPoint presentation or a website using If you are taking the course for College Prep credit, you should prepare a 5-6 minute presentation; if you’re taking the course for Honors credit, your presentation should last between 7-8 minutes. The order of presentations will be chosen randomly.

2. You must cite all information used in your PowerPoint or website directly on the slide or page.

3. Please print out each slide of your PowerPoint or website and submit it to me.

4. Please copy and paste any text from your PowerPoint or website into a Word document and submit that to

5. If your PowerPoint or website contains multimedia clips, they may not go longer than 45 seconds each.

6. You must also submit a Works Cited page. You should plan to include 5-10 sources (book and/or online) on your Works Cited page. The Works Cited page should be submitted as part of the text document you’ll upload to

7. Although not required, it is STRONGLY encouraged that you prepare notes for your presentation. I do not expect you to memorize your presentation.


Loading  Loading...