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NCJ Number: 219573 Find in a Library
Title: Correlates of Formal and Informal Social/Crime Control in China: An Exploratory Study
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:35  Issue:3  Dated:May/June 2007  Pages:261-271
Author(s): Shanhe Jiang; Eric Lambert; Jin Wang
Date Published: May 2007
Page Count: 11
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A total of 524 college students in China were surveyed about their opinions of the formal and informal social/crime control measures used in their country.
Abstract: The study found that the students viewed informal social/crime control (e.g., behaviors and influence of family, peers, and neighbors) as more important and effective than formal social/crime control (e.g., the influence of police, courts, and corrections). Respondents who believed in traditional Confucianism were less likely to favor legal sanctions as a means of controlling crime. Male students were more likely to believe that legal sanctions were effective compared to female students. Data were collected in March 2005 at a Chinese university with an enrollment of approximately 48,000 students from throughout the country. Respondents were selected from dormitories rather than classrooms. Of the 526 questionnaires distributed, 524 were completed and collected. One of the four dependent variables measured respondents' agreement with the statement, "Informal social/crime control is more effective than formal/legal crime control." The second dependent variable was the ranking of importance of informal groups in crime control/prevention compared with formal agencies in criminal justice. Informal groups included family, neighbors, and peers. The third dependent variable, called "formal rank," was the summation of the three formal agencies (police, courts, and corrections). The fourth dependent variable, "sanctions," was related to the third dimension of formal and informal social/crime control, i.e., punishment. The five independent variables measured attitudes toward "law" (agreement with the Confucian statement, "Control people by law and punishment, and they will avoid wrongdoing but will have no sense of honor and shame"); "neutral strangers" (agreement with the statement, "Punishment by neutral strangers is not a powerful deterrent to crime"); "group punishment;" and "living area" (place where the respondent lived the longest as a child). 5 tables, 6 notes, and 32 references
Main Term(s): Foreign crime prevention
Index Term(s): China; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Foreign criminal justice research; Informal social control
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