Sociologist Randall Collins will present a lecture titled, "Gangs, Mafias and Cartels: What Determines the Forms and Fates of Organized Crime?" on Monday, Feb. 11 at 4:15 p.m. at Pomona College (Hahn 101, 420 N. Harvard Ave., Claremont).

Collins, who teaches at University of Pennsylvania, will present a comparison of different kinds of organized crime, focusing on what determines their form of organization—hierarchic, centralized, localized, etc.—and their styles of violence, and the degree to which they have been successful or have been destroyed.  He will compare drug cartels in Mexico with the trajectories of the Sicilian, Russian and American Mafias.

Collins is the author of Violence: A Micro-sociological Theory (2008), which studies situations in which violence happens or fails to happen, using data from photos and videos as well as close ethnographic observations, and shows the micro-techniques and contingencies through which some persons win, lose, are stalemated, or keep their distance. Violence was given the Distinguished Book Award by the American Sociological Association in 2011.

In 2012, Collins was given the Robin Williams Award for Lifetime Achievement by the American Sociological Association's Section on Peace, War and Social Conflict.

Collins was the president of the American Sociological Association from 2010-11, and his current work includes examining macro patterns of violence such as contemporary high-tech war; comparative studies of organized crime; and future crises of capitalist economies.

For more information, contact: or (909) 607-4349.