The Mafia (also known as Cosa Nostra) is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering. Each group, known as a 'family', 'clan', or 'cosca', claims sovereignty over a territory in which it operates its rackets usually a town or village or a neighbourhood (borgata) of a larger city. Its members call themselves 'men of honour', although the public often refers to them as 'mafiosi'. According to the classic definition, the Mafia is a criminal organization originating in Sicily. However, the term 'mafia' has become a generic term for any organized criminal network with similar structure, methods, and interests.
Contributions by 18.104.22.168, R.123, and 22.214.171.124.