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Liberal Arts & Italian Culture
Fall 2021 Semester Florence

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Course Overview

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The Policies of Organized Crime: Mafia and anti-Mafia in Italy

The Policies of Organized Crime: Mafia and anti-Mafia in Italy Course Overview

OVERVIEW

CEA Partner Institution: CEA Florence Center
Location: Florence, Italy
Primary Subject Area: Sociology
Other Subject Area: History
Instruction in: English
Course Code: SOC341FLR
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45
Prerequisites: None
Additional Fee: $120.00
Additional Fee Description:This course requires payment of an additional fee to cover active learning components that are above and beyond typical course costs, such as site visits, entrance fees and other expenses.
Required Supplies: Personal laptop computer

DESCRIPTION

The term 'Mafia' is one of the few Italian words that are known worldwide, a catch-all concept embracing a wide range of phenomena associated with criminality and violence. However, defining the concept is no easy task as the term has systematically attracted stereotypes that tend to portray it as an elusive phenomenon, often typical of backward societies, and which have influenced and often shaped perceptions of it. Real-world data such as investigations, proceedings, and criminal statistics, in fact, dismiss many of the accepted myths about Italian Mafia during recent decades.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to this complex phenomenon by demystifying most of the stereotypes on the subject, which derive from popular culture, especially films. This course analyzes the organization of Mafia groups in Italy, their codes and symbols, activities both in legal and illegal markets, relationship to politics and society, the policies designed to control them, as well as the grassroots initiatives to reduce their risk and combat their infiltration of local economy and society. Our analysis covers the myths, theories, and realities of the Mafia, its ideology and stereotypes, government responses from a comparative perspective, as well as its developments towards transnational crime and its relation to terrorist groups.

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