This article proposes a movement between two sorts of dependency in the secretive bonds of violent men. The first forges an interdependent set of relations between mafia men, independent of the state; the second arises as a dependency of these former mafiosi on the state in order to break the interdependencies that formerly made them as mafia men. In this ethnographic and oral history narrative, we first witness a dyadic, homosocial relation between two violent men that forges a masculinised interdependence binding the protagonists of this story together as they share a secret. We then encounter the break‐up of this interdependency amid local moral outrage over betrayal and violence, and its substitution by a strong dependence on the state. Through a microsociology that delves into a history of relations, the article thus shows how the subjects of this story shift from one set of dependencies to another. The essay critically revisits discussions of dependency, especially on the state, underscoring the missing element of dependency in the making and breaking of bonds in a secretive male brotherhood.
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