Understanding Crime in Villages-in-the-City in China: A Social and Behavioral Approach, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Understanding Crime in Villages-in-the-City in China

A Social and Behavioral Approach, 1st Edition

By Zhanguo Liu, T. Wing Lo


174 pages | 21 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367251185
pub: 2019-09-03
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Rapid urbanization of economic zones in China has resulted in a special social phenomenon: "villages-in-the-city." Underdeveloped villages are absorbed during the expansion of urban areas, while retaining their rustic characteristics. Due to the rural characteristics of these areas, social security is much lower compared with the urbanized city. This book uses Tang Village, a remote area in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, as an example to establish a comprehensive analytical framework by integrating existing crime theories in analyzing villages-in-the-city. The analysis covers the community, individual, and macro levels to detail the diverse social and behavioral factors causing crime at multiple levels. First, a brief history of the urbanization process of Tang Village is provided to establish how urban planning contributed to the issues in the village today. The authors go on to explain how socially disorganized communities dictate the crime hotspots and the common types of crime. The book examines other risk factors that may contribute to the level of crime such as weak social controls, building density, and floating populations of poor working-class migrants. The routine activities of victims, offenders, and guardians are examined. The book concludes with the current trends in the social structure within the villages-in-the-city and their expected outcome after urbanization.


'The villages in city is small, but the crimes in villages in city seems "bigger ". This book reminds us to see, hear and reflect the problems emerged during the rapid modernization and transition society in China.' - Dr Li Li, China University of Political Science and Law, China.

'The book offers rich insights into the lives of those who live in China’s growing villages-in-the-city. It is strongly recommended to readers who are interested in China’s rapid social change, urbanisation, migration, urban crime and crime control mechanisms.' - Anqi Shen, Northumbria University, UK

'The book addresses a particular social phenomenon unpaid much attention to in fast-changing China. With first-hand data, it provides a convincing explanation of crimes in village-in-cities by integrating micro, meso and macro perspectives. A deep investigation on general Chinese political economy, features of village-in-cities as community, and residents’ routine activities make the book unique in the field. The book is valuable also because it goes beyond the summarization and theorizes the finding, namely social disorder breeds crime.' - Guoping Jiang, Nanchang University, China

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Crimes in Tang Village

Chapter 3 Individual, Community and Macro Levels of Analysis

Chapter 4 Community Disorganization in Tang Village

Chapter 5 Suitable Targets of Crime

Chapter 6 Motivated Offenders

Chapter 7 Incapability of Guardians

Chapter 8 Political Economy and Crimes in Tang Village

Chapter 9 Conclusions


Appendix: The Main Interviewees


About the Authors

Zhanguo Liu is the founding Director of Leaguer Industry Research based in Shenzhen and conducts research projects for industry and business. He graduated from the Xi’An University of Architecture and Technology, Peking University, and City University of Hong Kong. Before beginning his work on product research, Dr. Liu worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Joint Social Science Program at the Shenzhen Research Center of Peking University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

T. Wing Lo is Head and Professor of the Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences at City University of Hong Kong. He received his PhD in criminology from the University of Cambridge (1991). Before becoming a full-time academic, he worked with triad gangsters on street corners for 17 years. He was invited to address the UN delegates attending the Palermo Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2010), and officials of the U.S. Department of Defense (2015). He is Founding Editor of Routledge Studies in Asian Behavioral Sciences series and member of the International Advisory Board/Editorial Board of journals including the British Journal of Criminology, Youth Justice, Asian Journal of Criminology, and British Journal of Community Justice. His research interests are triad society, anti-corruption, and offender rehabilitation. He has authored or edited several books, such as Corruption and Politics in Hong Kong and China (1993); Fighting Youth Crime: Success and Failure of Two Little Dragons (2002, 2004); Understanding Criminal Justice in Hong Kong (2008, 2017); and Organized Crime and Corruption Across Borders: Exploring the Belt and Road Initiative (2019).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Asian Behavioural Sciences

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / General
PSYCHOLOGY / Personality
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Addiction