This topic is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the mafia, its history, its activities and its role in Italian society. Through historical, social, cultural and political changes that have characterised Sicily and Italy, the topic traces the historical evolution of the mafia phenomenon from its origin in the Middle Ages to the present day. It will also analyse sociological aspects of this organised crime syndicate such as its codes and culture, its structures of power, its business activities and its relationships with politics, politicians and religion.
This topic will also examine how literature and cinema represent the complexity of the mafia to explore issues of justice, politics, and morality, and it will raise awareness of certain Sicilian and Italian controversial cultural stereotypes.
The topic will also provide an overview of other contemporary criminal groups of Italy such as Camorra, 'Ndrangheta and Sacra Corona Unita.
Language requirements: ALL readings are available in English and ALL films to be accessed for this topic are available with English sub-titles. Lectures/seminars will be conducted in English.
This topic aims to provide opportunities for the students to: