Society, culture and mafia: An analysis of why Sicily falls behind when it comes to development

Ditte Roslyng Tastesen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The primary purpose of this thesis is to obtain knowledge of what shapes a society, and what makes it move in a certain direction. Although several people have conducted research in this area, also in Italy, I believe that the Sicilian question is still one that needs to be answered. The purpose is to investigate, describe and analyse the factors that have contributed to the fact that Sicily in certain areas is less developed than many other Italian regions and the Italian average. It is my belief, as a scholar of Italy and Italian culture, that Sicily is an area of research still in need of much attention. Almost 150 years have passed since the Unification of Italy and not only are there still huge gaps in the living standards and opportunities between the citizens in northern and central Italy and the citizens in southern Italy, but in some areas the gap is growing larger. These considerations have encouraged me to conduct the investigations in this thesis based on the following research question: Why is Sicily still less developed than the many other regions in Italy and the Italian average, when almost 150 years have passed since the Unification? In order to answer this main question, I have listed the following sub-questions, which will also each constitute a chapter in the analysis: - How can Sicily be characterised as a society, seen from a theoretical perspective? - How can we describe the Sicilian civic culture and its role in society? - What is the role of the mafia? With this study I hope to offer not only results as to why Sicily has gone in this direction, but also to bring forward a solution to the question of overcoming any obstacles. This is a very specific case, the study and analyses are of Sicily, but the theories and results aspire to be useful for anyone who studies sociology and cultural understanding, and wants to analyse any given society.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2008
Number of pages95