Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Italian Mafia

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_639

Synonyms

Overview

Different ways of conceptualizing the mafia have been proposed over the time, emphasizing either the cultural or the organizational factors. The former describes the mafia as a subculture typical of certain areas of Southern Italy, whereas the latter focuses on its internal configuration. The mafia has also been conceptualized as a business enterprise, although its political dimension has also been emphasized by delineating it as an industry of private protection. Indeed, Italian mafias differ from other criminal organizations for their will to political dominion in the areas of their traditional presence. Another peculiarity of mafia groups in Italy is their internal configuration and the resort to symbols and rituals that promote the creation of strong ties among the affiliates.

Italian mafia organizations include Cosa Nostra (Our Thing) in Sicily, the ‘Ndrangheta (Society of the Men of Honor) in Calabria, and the Camorra in Campania....

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Recommended Reading and References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and TranscrimeMilanItaly