Keywords: Mafia; Forms of Capital; Cultural Resonance, Emilian Model; Bourdieu.
The paper develops the conceptual device of forms of Mafia capital as an original cultural-sociological contribution to the literature on Mafia expansion in the so-called non-traditional areas. The proposed framework draws on some results of an empirical research project on the territorial expansion, practices and public perceptions of Mafias in northern Italy, specifically in the Emilia-Romagna region. In particular, the analysis of a few case studies (i.e. the relationship between local entrepreneurs and professionals such as business consultants and journalists on the one side, and supposed or recognized Mafia members on the other side) sheds light on a set of elective affinities between the local territorial culture (internationally known through the label of Emilian model) and some structural features of Mafia organizations and their culture. In the end we propose to capture this set of affinities through the notion of cultural resonance as a mechanism underlying the expansion of Mafia groups and their mobility.