Are There Conversational Strategies in Groups Devoted to Mafie and Corruption?

Friday, 20 July 2018: 17:50
Oral Presentation
Emilia LACROCE, Pisa University, Italy
Mafia and corruption are increasingly broad problems, not only for Europe or Italy. Studying the language of groups devoted to mafia and corruption is very interesting, especially if focused on discursive strategies of the leaders and their social practices. Unfortunately, scientific production about language and organised crime is timeworn, particularly based on jargon, in spite of an increasing number of researches in social sciences about corruption and organised crime. According to me, language sciences have to achieve a key-role in organised crime researches, because the internal and external communication of criminal groups is an unexplored world, and it could portray an in-depth organised crime outline. My research has as starting point a polyphony of corruption and organised crime’s definitions (Vannucci 2012, Sciarrone 2012-2016, Santino 1995).

Language used in criminal groups groups is not a jargon, but a standard language adapted by criminals to obtain their communicative goals. Today It is possible to study real conversations thanks to information sources more extended compared to the past. The corpus construction is based on electronic surveillance and telephone tappings, arrest reports, interrogatories, trials, etc.… The case-study of my first year of PhD, that concerns Mafia Capitale trial, seems to corroborate our hypothesis. Discourse Analysis applied to this type of corpus can reveal connections between language and identity construction for example, or the contribute of conversational strategies to the myth construction. Legitimation strategies and implicit meanings are other interesting research perspectives.