Laboratory: Organized Crime and Research Methodology.

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with specific notions and skills to carry out research activities and studies in the field of organized crime and mafia as social phenomena. The course will focus on the main tools of social research (especially qualitative), on the organization of the research design, on the use of methods such as interview, observation and documentary analysis for the study of organized crime and mafia. Particular attention will be paid to the critical issues linked to the sources and their use, to the challenges posed by field research and to ethical issues relating to the presence of the researcher in territories characterized by the presence of forms of organized crime or mafia.
Expected learning outcomes
- Knowledge and critical reading of the main sources and useful tools for studying the criminal and mafia phenomenon.
- Ability to structure a research having as its object, in its various forms, organized crime.
- Useful elements for the elaboration of research reports, papers, degree theses.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First trimester
The course will take place in person and, based on the number of participants and the capacity of the chosen classroom, also in online mode through the Microsoft Teams platform. Information and updates on the Ariel site of the course.
Course syllabus
Following an introductory part dedicated to studies on organized crime, the main concepts of research methodology, and to the organization of the research design, the course will focus on the main tools, sources and techniques useful for carrying out studies and research on the criminal and mafia phenomenon. The course deals with the collection and analysis of documents and judicial sources, the interview, observation. At the same time, the limits and criticalities linked to these tools and the theoretical, practical and ethical challenges relating to field research in territories characterized by the presence of organized crime or mafia will be highlighted.
Prerequisites for admission
Recommended prerequisite is to have attended at least one exam or course concerning organized crime and mafia.
To attend the lessons of the laboratory it is mandatory to subscribe sending an email to [email protected] 1st to 15th September 2021 specifying the name, surname, identification number and degree course, specifying also the exam (if any) already attended in this field of study.
As the maximum number of students admitted is 20, we will consider the chronological order of the mail arrivals.
On 16 September the list of attending students will be announced by e-mail.
Attending at least the 80% of the lessons is the requirement to be considered attending students.

Students without attendance are not allowed.
Teaching methods
- Frontal lesson (in presence and possible simultaneous videoconference)
- Group discussion
- Review of literature
- Recommended reading
Teaching Resources
Papers will be provided to supplement what was discussed in class.
Assessment methods and Criteria
At the end of the course, students will be asked to write a short report (in Italian) within which they will have to prefigure and set up a qualitative research on issues related to organized crime or mafia. Once the possible object of study and the initial questions have been identified, the paper must address the justification of the choice of methods and techniques selected to carry out the research and the possible connected problems, stimulating a critical reflection of what was learned during the laboratory. The paper must be delivered on a date communicated by the teacher and will be discussed during the oral exam.
Those who have at least 80% attendance (8 lessons out of 10) will be considered an attending-student.

More information and news will be published on the Ariel website of the course.
Laboratories: 20 hours
Professor: Aureliani Thomas