Crime and the Chinese Dream


Joanna Chiu talks to Børge Bakken
Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel
January 2, 2019

In southern China, the rural town of Fang pulled itself out of poverty thanks to a simple scam. “Cake uncles” approached bakeries outside their hometown to deliver cakes, then faked the receipts and billed for more cakes than they actually sold.

According to Crime and the Chinese Dream, edited by a leading criminologist on China, Børge Bakken, cake uncles and other working class people have turned to illicit schemes in pursuit of the “Chinese Dream”—a modern fixation with economic success, intertwined with nationalism. The collection is a collaboration between Bakken and some of his former top doctoral students at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Researchers spent many months, in one case over a year, in mainland China conducting field work, immersed among the country’s most marginalized people. . . .

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Crime and the Chinese Dream