Eating with the Mafia: Belonging and violence

Martin Parker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a reading of the place of food in a variety of texts which concern the Mafia. In many organizations, food often seems to be symbolically deployed as a representation of community through commensality. However, in the Mafia, unlike many contemporary organizations, food preparation and consumption appears not to be relegated to liminal times and spaces, but to be a central part of being a Mafiosi. The article explores this idea in terms of the connections between metaphors of community and family in the Mafia and in legal business organizations, and then the tensions between community and violence in the Mafia and in legal business organizations. After a consideration of the partial dislocation of women and food in the Mafia, the article concludes with some reflections on organizations and belonging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)989-1006
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008


  • Commensality
  • Community
  • Films
  • Food
  • Mafia
  • Structuralism


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