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2. Marseille Chicago

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Chapter Summary

Marseille children formed gangs from their early years and engaged in street-fights with rivals from neighbouring districts. But it was more usual to link organised crime with the city's high immigration levels. Most immigrants had nothing to do with gangsterism, indeed many were victims of it, but in any sociological profile of Marseille's gangsters the Corsican community would undoubtedly be very well represented. In her work on immigration to the city Marie-Françoise Attard-Maraninchi stresses the overlapping of Corsican and gangster culture: both revolved around an exaggerated sense of personal honour, attachment to a clan, mutual solidarity and the respect of the law of silence. Three groups of gangsters are particularly associated with the Marseille of the 1930s and 1940s. The Carbone-Spirito clan held considerable influence over Marseille's underworld from the late-1920s, recruiting widely and putting their fingers into a number of pies.

Keywords: Corsican community; crime; France; gangsterism; Marseille; mutual solidarity

10.1163/9789004265233_004
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