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Crime and the Chinese Dream

Børge Bakken

978 988 8208 66 1
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Publication date:
1 April 2018

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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.



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