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A tale of reverse deviance: non-compliant spatial practices in the land of Gomorrah

Trifuoggi, Mario (2015) A tale of reverse deviance: non-compliant spatial practices in the land of Gomorrah. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 35 (11/12). pp. 828-840. ISSN 0144-333X

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Identification Number: 10.1108/IJSSP-10-2014-0076

Abstract

Racketeering local activities, though less relevant in terms of financial turnover, still represents a distinctive feature of mafia-like organisations for it provides them with striking social power. Mafias constitute indeed forms of governance that heavily rely on the acquiescence, if not on the consensus, of the community which they are rooted in. I thus argue that territoriality is critical for a comprehensive understanding of the mafia phenomenon: territories contribute to the reproduction of mafia groups not only in ecological terms, providing human and economic resources to organised crime, but also in cultural ones, forming symbolic and representational spaces that play an active role in the socialisation of the norms at the bottom of people’s compliance. The production of space in areas policed by mafia groups is the dynamics that I sought to account for by undertaking field research in the surroundings of Caserta, also known as Gomorrah, where the clout of the Camorra (the Neapolitan mafia) is notorious and yet to be tarnished. I focused on non-compliant spatial practices for illuminating, by contrast, how space takes part to the construction of the mafia governance: the findings presented in this paper come from participant observation and in-depth interviews conducted in former properties of the Camorra where two worker cooperatives installed themselves and started legal businesses in outright contrast with organised crime. This process of reterritorialisation, I argue, discloses the sociological intersection between space and mafia, raising relevant policy implications about the fight against such form of organised crime.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/loi/ijssp#
Additional Information: © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HS Societies secret benevolent etc
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2015 10:49
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 20:02
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/64101

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