Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Status and Causes of Chinese Migrant Workers' Crimes

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Status and Causes of Chinese Migrant Workers' Crimes

Article excerpt


In this paper, by means of investigation and analysis of criminal situation and basic characteristics of crimes committed by Chinese migrant workers, we try to reveal the social and individual causes of Chinese migrant workers' crimes as follows: the differences between urban and rural areas demonstrated by the social system defects; oppressive management and rights discrimination; abnormality of personality to the path of crime shaped by their very miserable fate which were caused by social discrimination. At last we attempt to, by using the related sociological and psychological theories, give interpretation of the reasons why migrant workers commit crimes.

Keywords: Chinese migrant worker, crime, rural traditional culture, social discrimination, causes

1. Introduction

Generally speaking, Chinese migrant workers refer to the workers providing labor for factories and construction sites and for the long term goals of transforming China from a rural-based economy to an urban-based one. As the product of unique urban-rural dual system in China, they are a special group of Chinese society arising in a special period. The migrant workers came from rural areas, but are employed to be engaged in non-agricultural occupations, which their incomes are mainly from, while they are still agricultural registered permanent residents. In 2011, China's total migrant workers reached 252.78 million, an increase of more 10.55 million people, up 4.4% over the previous year; workers migrated with the families were about 32.79 million, an increase of more 2.08 million, up 6.8% over the previous year.

With ever-growing migrant workers, crimes committed by them have been the increasing concern, and become a very serious problem that affects social stability. Thus it will have positive impacts on the migrant workers themselves and the stability of the society to pay close attention on and try to solve their crime problems. Based on related statistics of the judicial authorities and prison administration sections in Shandong Province, combining with interviews and field observations, we tried to conduct a preliminary analysis of the status and causes of the migrant workers' crime.

This paper mainly studies three closely related problems: criminal situation of Chinese migrant workers; basic characteristics of crime; causes of migrant workers' crimes. Investigation of migrant workers' criminal situation makes people understand the severity of their crimes and draws the government' attention. Analysis of the characteristics of migrant workers' crimes is to provide direct support for revealing the causes. The research methods used are as follows: empirical analysis - collection and reference of data on migrant workers' crimes in recent years; systematic research - comprehensive analysis from the characteristics of crimes to the underlying causes; theoretical analysis - interpretation of the related problems based on sociological and psychological theories.

2. Analysis of Crime Status of Migrant Workers

Crime is the result of interaction between perpetrator's physical condition and social environment. So is the crime committed by migrant workers. Since China's reform and opening up, a large number of migrant workers sprang up by the joint actions of rural economic reform and urbanization. Migrant workers are in a transitional phase in transitional China with the deepening of the market economy system construction. Migrant workers crime is no longer in a decentralized, irregular state under the dual transformation, but showing features of mass participation and regularity. So we can see that the crime of migrant workers in China has evolved from individual behaviors as group behaviors.

Migrant workers' crime is becoming increasingly serious social problem. According to the collective information of crime investigated, migrant workers' crimes accounted for about 10% of all crimes around 2002, and there was an annual increase of 3-5%, until recent years to about 40%, even more than 50% in some areas. …

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