AbstractThe authors describe their experience as anthropological field researchers in Sicily – first, during the 1960s and 1970s in a rural town of the interior, and subsequently during the 1980s and 1990s in Palermo. Focusing initially on the intersection of political economy and cultural practices in the social history of a peasant society, they found their attention drawn to the issue of mafia influence. Subsequently they became interested in the dynamics of the antimafia process. Over time, the research itself as well as the work of Sicilian scholars and activists led the authors to change their minds about the organization of the Sicilian mafia and its historical role in the development of Italian capitalism.
Keywords: Keywords: peasantry; mafia; antimafia; Sicily; capitalism.