Exploring Individual Choices When Joining the Mafia or 'Ndrangheta


Shevchenko Maksim


The relevance of issues pertaining to human choice in modern times is unquestionable. In this article, we will delve into the matter of choice for the first time—its presence or absence within criminal organizations. The activities of criminal organizations serve as a litmus test for gauging the efficacy and endurance of both the organization and its individual members under intense external pressures. According to modern postmodern doctrine, the choice of a contemporary human is ostensibly independent in virtually all aspects; however, the question of the effectiveness of such an approach for both society as a whole and the individual remains unresolved. 

The purpose of this article is to examine the concept of human choice within the Mafia and 'Ndrangheta—its presence or absence. Does the availability of personal choice benefit both the individual and the organization? Furthermore, what factors contribute to the resilience of organizations existing beyond the boundaries of the law? Addressing these questions provides criminologists with insights into the structure, organizational dynamics, and individual attitudes within such entities.

Throughout this study, the author considers the organizational structures of criminal groups like the Mafia and 'Ndrangheta, drawing from previous research in southern Italy, as well as philosophical, anthropological, and criminological postmodern literature. Methodologically, the study employs a descriptive approach, comparative analysis, immersion in the studied environment, and prototypological method.

Mafia, ‘Ndrangheta, Southern Italy, criminal, choice of human