Gomorra takes its starting point from Roberto Saviano’s book (2006), an international success, and from its cinematic and television versions, in order to more deeply explore how the mafias have been represented in the Italian media over the last ten years. The authors, two sociologists and an expert in media studies, start from the cultural background of the antimafia civil movements in which the book has its origins, and from the dominant image of mafia as a «social evil», in order to contextualize the audiovisual versions within the wider frame of reference of a media market undergoing profound changes. If Gomorra marks a watershed in its representation of a «minor mafia» like the Camorra, it nonetheless forms part of a broader phenomenon of spectacularization of the Italian mafias. The authors investigate diverse aspects: the folklorization of the mafia imaginary, the circularity of representations between mafia and antimafia. All of these effects are evident in other recent narrations of old and new mafias, e.g. the Calabrian mafia depicted in the book and movie Anime nere (Black Souls) and the «mafia» of Rome, in the book, movie and TV series Romanzo criminale.
Keywords: Gomorra, Camorra, Roberto Saviano, Mafias, Antimafia, Imaginaries, Spectacularization