Mob Vs Gang

Mob vs Gang: Understanding the Key Differences Between These Two Criminal Groups

Criminal organizations have been a source of fascination to many of us for generations. From the Mafia to street gangs, these groups have come to symbolize the darker side of society, and have been the subject of countless books, movies, and TV shows. However, despite their common image as ruthless and violent, there are actually many differences between these organizations, especially between the mob and gangs.

In this article, we will take a closer look at these two types of criminal groups and explore their key differences in terms of their origins, hierarchy, structure, and activities.

Origins of the Mob and Gang

The term “mob” is generally used to refer to Italian-American criminal organizations such as the Mafia or Cosa Nostra. The Italian mafia originated in Sicily during the late 19th century and later spread to the United States, where it became a powerful force in organized crime. The mob is typically characterized by its code of silence (omertà), strict hierarchy, and strong sense of family loyalty.

On the other hand, the term “gang” refers to any group of individuals who engage in criminal activities. While the term is often used to refer to street gangs, like the Bloods or Crips, it can also be used to describe criminal organizations who are not street based, such as prison gangs.

Hierarchy and Structure

Another key difference between the mob and gangs is their hierarchy and structure. The mob operates in a strict hierarchical structure with the boss at the top of the pyramid, followed by several underbosses, capos or captains, and soldiers or foot soldiers. Each member of the mob has a specific role to play and is expected to follow orders from their superior.

In contrast, street gangs operate in a much less rigid hierarchy. The leader of a gang is often referred to as the OG, or original gangsta, and is usually the oldest and most respected member of the group. Below him, there may be lieutenants or shot callers, but the relationships between members are often more fluid and based on reputation and respect.

Activities and Objectives

The activities and objectives of the mob and gangs also differ significantly. The mob is known for its involvement in lucrative criminal enterprises such as extortion, racketeering, and money laundering. They also have a significant presence in the illegal drug trade, especially when it comes to the distribution of illicit substances like cocaine or heroin.

Street gangs, on the other hand, are often involved in a range of criminal activities such as drug dealing, robbery, and assault, but they also engage in other criminal enterprises like sex trafficking, identity theft, and cybercrime. They are often motivated by a desire for power, respect, and protection of their turf against rival gangs.

Commonalities Between Mob and Gang

Despite these differences, there are also some commonalities between the mob and street gangs. One of the most significant is the use of violence as a means of intimidation and control. Both organizations are known for using violence to settle disputes and to enforce their will on others.

Another commonality is the sense of brotherhood and loyalty that exists within these groups. Members of both the mob and gangs are expected to support each other, even at the cost of their own safety or well-being.

One of the more recent developments in gangs has been their evolution into transnational criminal organizations. Gangs like MS-13 and 18th Street have become increasingly involved in human trafficking, drug smuggling, and other criminal activities on both sides of the US-Mexico border.


In conclusion, the differences between the mob and street gangs are significant. While the mob has a more structured hierarchy and is involved in more lucrative criminal enterprises, street gangs are less structured and more focused on territory and reputation. However, both organizations have a similar history of violence and an almost mythic sense of brotherhood and loyalty among their members.

Whether we like it or not, these criminal groups will always be a part of our society, and it is important for law enforcement to understand the differences between them to better combat their various activities. In any case, we can all agree that the influence of these groups on society is largely negative, and we should continue to work toward their elimination as much as possible.