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Stumbling upon places and cultures: an involuntary ethnography in researching the Australian ‘ndrangheta

Sergi, Anna (2021) 'Stumbling upon places and cultures: an involuntary ethnography in researching the Australian ‘ndrangheta.' Journal of Criminology, 54 (4). pp. 448-465. ISSN 2633-8076

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In the past decade, the attention to the Calabrian mafia, the ‘ndrangheta, has been rekindled everywhere in the world. On the one hand, Italian attention to the phenomenon has increased; on the other hand, the mobility of the Calabrian clans has been the object of scrutiny in view of the clan’s wealth and ability to commit transnational criminal activities. This has also fed the presumption that (alleged) offenders of Calabrian origins around the world must belong to, and replicate the structure of, the ‘ndrangheta clans, also down under. This contribution will be a reflection on the difficulties and the complexities of a journey into researching the ‘ndrangheta in Australia from a criminological–anthropological perspective, in consideration of—but in contrast with—the mythical figures associated with the Calabrian mafia and its illicit global markets. Some of the difficulties, as well as some of the mistakes that I have made in this research, because of the involuntary (and disorganized) nature of the ethnography, directly question the narrative of the illegal global reach of this mafia and provide methodological reflections and lessons for criminological ethnographies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ‘ndrangheta; Australia; Calabria; organized crime; mafia; mafia mobility; methodology; reflexivity
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2022 12:08
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2022 12:08

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