The ‘ndrangheta is female. Encountering women in the Calabrian mafia in Australia.

Anna Sergi1, Connie Agius
1University Of Essex, Colchester , United Kingdom

In the past decades, the Calabrian mafia, known as the ‘ndrangheta, has been object of media attention, academic inquiry and growing policing concern in Australia as well as in Italy. The Australian ‘ndrangheta, however, is not a new phenomenon and, albeit similar and connected to its Italian equivalent, presents some unique traits. Notwithstanding the resilience and uniqueness of the phenomenon, responses and approaches to mafia-type organised crime in Australia have historically been chaotic and often failed to see the phenomenon in its entirety.

In absence of a specific legal distinctiveness of mafia-type organised crime, this paper will discuss the difficulty of researching and investigating the structures, the organisation and the identity of the ‘ndrangheta in Australia. The paper will specifically present preliminary case studies on the role of women in the ‘ndrangheta in Australia. Even though the ‘ndrangheta, as a mafia culture, remains a male dominated world, the role of women – as both victims and supporters of this criminal system – has emerged as a promising avenue to research the phenomenon. The paper will eventually argue that research on women is a promising aspect to push the investigation and the analysis into the features of this group even further in the country.


Biography:
Anna Sergi holds a PhD in Sociology (2014), with specialisation in Criminology, from the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex. Her research specialism is in organised crime studies and comparative criminal justice. She has published extensively in renowned peer-review journals in criminology on topics related to Italian mafias both in Italy and abroad as well as on policing strategies against organised crime across states.

 

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