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Decoding Albanian Organized Crime$
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Jana Arsovska

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520282803

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520282803.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Violence, Honor, and Secrecy

Violence, Honor, and Secrecy

(p.153) Chapter 5 Violence, Honor, and Secrecy
Decoding Albanian Organized Crime

Jana Arsovska

University of California Press

Chapter 5 elaborates on the extent to which traditional cultural codes (for example, the Kanun of Lek Dukagjini, considered the foundation of the Albanian culture) can help in understanding the behavior of Albanian organized crime figures. What are the drives and rationalizations that enable Albanian offenders to commit ruthless crimes and remain silent about them? Do Albanian criminals use violence to terrorize their victims into silence, gain reputation in criminal circles, defend their “honor,” or simply project masculinity? Are the conditions of access to Albanian organized crime groups strict and ritualized? Do Albanian organized crime figures respect their Kanun laws? By studying cultural codes, this chapter explains the value system of Albanian offenders. Chapter 5 explores how meaning is constructed, and re-constructed, in Albanian criminal groups in order for them to endure, maintain order, and survive in hostile environments. The dynamic between the Albanian codes of honor, secrecy, and violence lies at the heart of this analysis.

Keywords:   Honor codes, Secrecy, Violence, Albanian mafia, Sicilian mafia, La Cosa Nostra, Popular culture, Neutralization techniques, Kanun of Lek Dukagjini, Cultural criminology

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