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Performance matters more than masculinity: violence, gender dynamics and mafia womenNarrating the stories of Italian mafia women and classifying their performance, this study shows that mafiosi masculinity creates a violent social atmosphere for women. The performance practised by women may give rise to a higher social status or credibility for the women or may make them vulnerable against violence and risks posed by mafia activity. Women's performances against violent mafia activity can bring definitive failure to the solid structure of the mafia family. Yet, conversely, the performance of women under the influence of mafiosi masculinity can also render the mafia more resilient against threat.