noun: Mafia; noun: the Mafia
- an organized international body of criminals, operating originally in Sicily and now especially in Italy and the US and having a complex and ruthless behavioural code.
- any organized group of criminals resembling the Mafia in its way of operating.noun: mafia; plural noun: mafias
"the rise of criminal mafias in Russian and Eastern Europe"
- a group regarded as exerting a hidden sinister influence.noun: mafia
"the British literary mafia"
To help us understand a little bit more about our project, I thought it would be a good idea to look further into the Mafia as a whole. I found the dictionary definition of the Mafia and began looking into the stereotypical images of the Mafia.
Now the reign of Mafia mobs is over, they have secured a place in culture today as your standard bad guy. Everyone remembers them by the smart black suit, hat and tie. Guns and knives aren't always depicted but they're definitely implied. People today still get the same reaction to this imagery as those did in real life. A large group of people in a standard attire doesn't always provide comfort or a sense of belonging. In this case it was used to instil fear.
The 'Italian Mafia' is not actually the first mafia as people believed. It was actually first used to describe the Sicilian Mafia. The 'Italian Mafia' is more commonly referred to as 'The Mafia' due to their preceding reputation as a criminal organisation. These are those that we have stereotyped for films but did actually once exist.
The Mafia is primarily a type of organised crime syndicate who thrive off of 'protection racketeering' (or intimidation), oversight of illegal agreements and transactions as well as the stereotyped actions such as gambling, loan sharking, drug trafficking and fraud.
There is no easy way to understand how the Mafia works. Bugsy Malone is a strangely 'kidified' version of the inner works of the Mafia but the suits and the crew standoff is a perfect example of clothing, attitude and the brutality of the gangs.