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NCJ Number: 206878 Find in a Library
Title: Let Senior Brothers/Sisters Meet Junior Brothers/Sisters: The Categorical Linkages Between Traditional Chinese Secret Associations and Modern Organized Chinese Underground Groups
Journal: Journal of Gang Research  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:Summer 2004  Pages:47-68
Author(s): Hua-Lun Huang
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 22
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper argues that the three branches of traditional Chinese secret associations are not just historical phenomena, but continue to influence the features of contemporary religious cults, better-organized Chinese/Taiwanese gangs, and ultranationalist Chinese-Mainland organizations.
Abstract: Scholars of Chinese secret religions and societies generally agree that premodern Chinese secret associations can be divided into two broad categories: mi mi zong jiao (clandestine religious cults) and mi mi hui dang (secret societies). In addition to clandestine cults and secret societies, this article argues that bandits and pirates should be considered a third branch of the Chinese secret associations. This is because bandits and pirates, like clandestine religious cults and secret societies, designed their organizations in an exclusive pattern so that "specialized" jobs could be assigned to each individual member while group secrecy was safeguarded. This paper contends that the historical legacies of secret religions, secret societies, and bandits/pirates are respectively eschatologically oriented initiation ceremonies, sworn brotherhood-based organizational structure, and militia-like counterculture. Each of these legacies has been, to a great extent, inherited by religious cults (particularly, crime-involved cults) in China and by formalized Chinese gangs and militant right-wing organizations in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and America. From the perspectives of sociology and criminal justice, the linkages revealed in this paper can pave the way for students or law enforcement agencies to discern the "secret" veil of the Chinese secret associations. These linkages can also help scholars avoid using unfounded stories in examining the nature and behavioral patterns of such underground associations. 6 notes and 42 references
Main Term(s): Asian gangs
Index Term(s): China; Cults; Cultural influences; Gang involvement in organized crime; Organized crime; Socioculture; Transnational Organized Crime
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