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Social History of the Italian Mafia Engineering Program Summer 2023 June/July 8-Week 2 Course - Rome

Flight Credit Get a Flight Credit worth up to $1,250 when you apply with code* by June 30, 2024

Social History of the Italian Mafia

Social History of the Italian Mafia Course Overview


CEA CAPA Partner Institution: CEA CAPA Rome Center
Location: Rome, Italy
Primary Subject Area: History
Other Subject Area: Cultural Studies
Instruction in: English
Course Code: HIS341
Transcript Source: University of New Haven
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45
Prerequisites: A basic knowledge of general Italian history is recommended


"'Mafia' is now one of a long list of words - like 'pizza', 'spaghetti', 'opera', and 'disaster' - that Italian has given to many other languages across the world. It is commonly applied to criminals far beyond Sicily and the United States, which are the places where the mafia is historically based. 'Mafia' has become an umbrella label for whole world panoply of gangs - Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Chechen, Albanian, Turkish, and so on - that have little or nothing to do with the Sicilian original." - John Dickie, Cosa Nostra

This course will examine the history of the Sicilian mafia from the Unification of Italy in 1861 to the present day, considering how different cultural, social, political, and economic factors during this period influenced its development.

The history of the mafia is not just the chronicle of the criminal deeds of a select list of mobsters. It is at the same time a chronicle of Italy's uneasy institutional configuration, the dangerous liaison between politics and crime in the stabilization of power, the hundreds of people who have fought the mafia since the late nineteenth-century (and in many cases lost their lives), and those numerous others who have favored the mafia's cause for reasons ranging from rational fear to downright complicity.

You will be encouraged and guided to critically analyze the material discussed in class and the assigned readings. Rather than remembering the names of bosses or dates of massacres, the emphasis is upon understanding the interrelated historical and cultural dynamics such as changes in national politics and legislation and the transformation of illicit activities. In this course, students will cultivate a more incisive knowledge of the mafia.

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