Crime and the Chinese Dream


Edited by Børge Bakken

ISBN : 978-988-8208-66-1

Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology

December 2017

180 pages, 6″ x 9″, 6 b&w illus.; 4 tables

  • HK$330.00

Although official propaganda emphasizes the Chinese Dream as the dream of all Chinese, the opportunities of achieving the prosperity by legal means are distributed unequally. Crime and the Chinese Dream reveals how people on the margins of Chinese society find their way to the Chinese Dream through illegal or deviant behaviours. The case studies in this book include corrupt doctors in public hospitals in Beijing, fraudsters in a village called ‘cake uncles’, illegal motorcycle taxi drivers in Guangzhou, drug users being ‘re-educated’ in detention centres, and internet addicts who are treated as criminals by the system. Despite the patriotic and collectivistic tint of the official dream metaphor, the contributors to this volume show that the Chinese Dream is essentially a state capitalist dream, which is embedded within the problems and opportunities of capitalism, as well as a dream of control.

Børge Bakken has served as director of the social science programme in criminology at the University of Hong Kong, and is currently affiliated with the Australian National University. He has written and edited many books and articles on social problems, crime, policing, punishment, and culture in China.

‘An original and important contribution to comparative criminology, international studies, and crime and justice research in China, this book highlights the ironies present in the American Dream that exist in the Chinese Dream as well. It contains diverse research topics that separate ideology from reality, and Bakken’s excellent introduction frames them in the literatures on social problems and social inequality.’ —Henry N. Pontell, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York

‘This is an outstanding collection of essays which importantly enlarges the terms of debate on crime in China. It reveals how China is complex, not only because of its internal social and economic diversity, but also because of integration into global capitalism, with all its inherent inequalities and commodification.’ —Bill Hebenton, Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Manchester