skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 183246 Find in a Library
Title: Chinatown Gangs: Extortion, Enterprise, and Ethnicity
Author(s): Ko-lin Chin
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 247
Sponsoring Agency: Oxford University Press, Inc
New York, NY 10016
Publication Number: ISBN 0-19-513627-6
Sale Source: Oxford University Press, Inc
198 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on first-hand accounts by gang members, gang victims, community leaders, and law enforcement authorities, this book presents a portrait of the underworld of New York City's Chinatown gangs.
Abstract: The first chapter provides a theoretical framework for gang formation in the Chinese community, based on theoretical concepts of conflict and the web of group affiliations developed by Simmel (1955) and empirically used by Whyte (1943) and Suttles (1968) in their studies on the social order in the slum, as well as Aldrich's (1979) concepts on inter-organizational relationships and resource dependency and extensions of Cloward and Ohlin's (1960) concept of "criminal subculture." Chapter 2 describes the methods used in the study, followed by three chapters that focus on extortion, one of the major activities of Chinese gangs. One of the chapters assesses the prevalence, frequency, and seriousness of extortion in New York City's Chinese communities, focusing on quantitative issues such as the percentage of subjects who have been victimized; how often they were exploited; and the financial, psychological, and physical damage suffered by victims. Another chapter on gang extortion describes the patterns of extortion, as it explains the ways gangs extort money, food, and services from business owners; the methods used in approaching victims; the interactions between offenders and victims after the initial victimization; and the social organization of extortion. Chapter 5 focuses on how victims and the Chinese community in general react to the extortion. Chapter 6 discusses the individual and group characteristics of Chinese gangs, including profiles of gang members in terms of age, gender, country of origin, education, and family background. The remaining chapters consider other profit-generating gang criminal activities as well as gang violence and how local and Federal law enforcement authorities cope with Chinese gangs and other Chinese crime groups in the United States. Notes, glossary, a subject index, and a 364-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Asian gangs
Index Term(s): Business crime costs; Crime costs; Extortion; Gang violence; New York
Note: Studies in Crime and Public Policy
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.