Social Networks of the Italian Mafia the Strong and Weak Parts

By Cayli, Baris | CEU Political Science Journal, September 2010 | Go to article overview

Social Networks of the Italian Mafia the Strong and Weak Parts


Cayli, Baris, CEU Political Science Journal


1. Introduction

The mafia phenomenon in Italy has been discussed widely from sociological, economical, psychological, etymological and political points of view whereas the social network system of the mafia from the approach of closed networks has not taken its place in the literature. Therefore, this paper aims to focus on the social network system of the different Mafia associations so as to fill the gap in the mafia studies. I need to mention the name of the prosecutor, Giovanni Falcone, who was murdered in 1992 by Sicilian Mafia (Cosa Nostra) as the source of inspiration of this paper through his words about the Mafia: (1) "We have to learn to think about the methods of Cosa Nostra calmly and with an open mind." (2) Hopefully, this paper shows a distinctive analysis on how different Mafia groups have built their methods through up-to-date networks, reaching a certain level of success. The main aim of this paper is not to show how to combat the Mafia by using its networks but to examine how they built their networks and illustrating the strong and weak parts of these networks in order to assist the fight against the Mafia.

In the first section, the paper emphasizes the theoretical and methodological reasoning of the paper. The paper highlights the social networks application to organized crimes, and finally, it explains the differential organizations theory of Matsueda (3), before taking a further step and commencing the network analysis of organized crime in Italy.

In the second part, the notion is regarded firstly with the members of the Italian Mafia associations. This is necessary to comprehend what kind of formation they have, how they gain new members and build a system of recruitment, the importance of leadership, and their communicative and descriptive type of relationship. Moreover, pentito (Mafioso who collaborates with the judicial authorities) is explained as a concept of the weak part of these networks. The open and closed network system of Matsueda (4) is used to define their network system after gaining a new member and in altering the type of relationship among the members.

In the third section, the main topic will be Italian Mafia groups' infiltration into the local people, how they have dominated the people in the local regions, and subordinated them on behalf of their own targets. To make the argument clear, the historical link of the Mafia groups in rural and urban regions based on the economic, sociological, and cultural facts of these regions are presented.

In the fourth section, Mafia groups' network with the politicians is the main concern of this part. In this section, the corrupted politicians and different Mafia groups' relationships are broadly described. In the next step, my argument suggests that there has never been consistent and cooperative commitment among politicians from the ruling and opposition parties in the fight against the Mafia. Furthermore, I assert that it is easy to break the relationship between politicians and Mafia groups. By using Matsueda's two strong closed networks and a weak tie figure (5), I define this relationship as weak tie of the two closed strong bonds: the Mafia groups and the politicians.

In the fifth and the last part, the executive power of the state is analyzed in the consideration of its (dys)functionality and (in)effectiveness in the judicial and administrative divisions of the state. This is the last section as it signals that the Mafia's success does not simply belong to the efforts of its members building their networks but to the promotional and supportive influence of the half-functional administrative and justice system of the Italian state.

2. Matsueda'a Theory of Social Networks in the Evaluation of Mafia Groups in Italy

Social networking theory has been prominent in many fields: social psychology, communications, political science, and so on. Apart from these fields, it has gained essential importance for the study of organized crime. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Social Networks of the Italian Mafia the Strong and Weak Parts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.