By Rino Coluccello
This ebook presents an research of the adjustments the Sicilian mafia has gone through from legitimisation to denunciation. It argues that conceptualisations of the mafia in public and clinical debate, through the 19th and greater than 1/2 the 20th century, created a mystique that legitimised the mafia and contributed to their success.
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Additional info for Challenging the Mafia Mystique: Cosa Nostra from Legitimisation to Denunciation
4 Renda identifies the mafia as a reactionary and conservative force. 5 On the contrary, this was ‘an instrument more efficient than any other’ for gaining positions of prestige or power and rising rapidly within society while being accepted for what one was. 116). 117). Renda thus identifies the class of middle-class farmers and old aristocracy as those who used these criminal associations as a means for social, economic and political growth, but he puts the labourers and peasants in second place.
Mounted on horses which do not belong to them, armed with revolvers and guns which they haven’t bought, they ride around the hills and valleys like lords. If they stop at a masseria or estate, all doors are open to them; the land-owner, the tenant, the employees are all ready to do their bidding.
The play’s success angered the more orthodox members of society who The Abolition of Feudalism 33 were perplexed by the characterisation of the personages. Criminals were described as having a certain dignity, respectful of a code of honour which was valid also outside the prison walls. Some criticised the description of the prison environment, to all intents and purposes governed by the prisoners and not by rules and laws. The author was accused of sympathising with these characters that were forced to live at the edges of society.
Challenging the Mafia Mystique: Cosa Nostra from Legitimisation to Denunciation by Rino Coluccello