Chinatown Gangs: Extortion, Enterprise, and Ethnicity [NOOK Book]

Overview

In Chinatown Gangs, Ko-lin Chin penetrates a closed society and presents a rare portrait of the underworld of New York City's Chinatown. Based on first-hand accounts from gang members, gang victims, community leaders, and law enforcement authorities, this pioneering study reveals the pervasiveness, the muscle, the longevity, and the institutionalization of Chinatown gangs. Chin reveals the fear gangs instill in the Chinese community. At the same time, he shows how the economic viability of the community is ...
See more details below
Chinatown Gangs: Extortion, Enterprise, and Ethnicity

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$21.99
BN.com price
(Save 40%)$37.12 List Price

Overview

In Chinatown Gangs, Ko-lin Chin penetrates a closed society and presents a rare portrait of the underworld of New York City's Chinatown. Based on first-hand accounts from gang members, gang victims, community leaders, and law enforcement authorities, this pioneering study reveals the pervasiveness, the muscle, the longevity, and the institutionalization of Chinatown gangs. Chin reveals the fear gangs instill in the Chinese community. At the same time, he shows how the economic viability of the community is sapped, and how gangs encourage lawlessness, making a mockery of law enforcement agencies.

Ko-lin Chin makes clear that gang crime is inexorably linked to Chinatown's political economy and social history. He shows how gangs are formed to become "equalizers" within a social environment where individual and group conflicts, whether social, political, or economic, are unlikely to be solved in American courts. Moreover, Chin argues that Chinatown's informal economy provides yet another opportunity for street gangs to become "providers" or "protectors" of illegal services. These gangs, therefore, are the pathological manifestation of a closed community, one whose problems are not easily seen--and less easily understood--by outsiders.

Chin's concrete data on gang characteristics, activities, methods of operation and violence make him uniquely qualified to propose ways to restrain gang violence, and Chinatown Gangs closes with his specific policy suggestions. It is the definitive study of gangs in an American Chinatown.

"One of the most authoritative books available covering Asian Crime in the United States...thoroughly researched...a primer for anyone interested in thesubject."--Crime and Justice International
"Chin skillfully weaves qualitative and quantitative data into an engagingly written, lucid account of gang activity."--The Annals of the American Academy; Book Department
"One of the most authoritative books available covering Asian Crime in the United States...thoroughly researched...a primer for anyone interested in the subject."--Crime and Justice International
"Chin skillfully weaves qualitative and quantitative data into an engagingly written, lucid account of gang activity."--The Annals of the American Academy; Book Department

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Robert Taylor
Chin provides an in-depth analysis of Chinese gang activity in his book, CHINATOWN GANGS. His insightful work provides one of the best ethnographic studies of its kind. His research rests in the strength of diverse case study approaches (mainly using interviews) conducted in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn in New York City. His central theme contradicts many assertions that "a well-organized, monolithic, hierarchical criminal cartel, sometimes referred to as the Chinese Mafia," exists in the United States or any other nation (p. 123). Instead, Chin suggests that in most cases, young, juvenile Chinese street gangs are not controlled nor do they work for adult crime cartels. Only on a "ad hoc basis" does such cooperation exist between street gangs and adult organized crime groups. According to Chin, they are loosely knit and membership changes constantly. He suggests that most crime involvement by Chinese gangs is relatively benign, primarily affecting the Chinese community, involving low-grade income-generating crimes such as extortion, gambling, prostitution, robbery, drug trafficking, and human smuggling. He asserts that "the extent of Chinese involvement in heroin trafficking and human smuggling appears to have been exaggerated by a few well-publicized incidents" and is of greatest concern only to law enforcement authorities (pg. 163). Indeed, Chin indicates that his research reveals that "Chinese gangs are being treated as scapegoats for heroin trafficking and human smuggling. More importantly, Chin's research indicates that there is no significant long-term association with smugglers based in Asia. This research is certainly limited in scope, having data localized from New York City, an East Coast megatropolis that is, in many ways, significantly different from experiences on the west coast. First, Chin's work concentrates on Chinese street gangs. In some instances, he appears to use Asian gangs interchangeably with Chinese gangs, a very different and problematic use of terms. Chin fails to clarify significant differences between the historical development of Chinese gangs and more recent Asian gangs from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Further, he never really expands on the differences between these latter gangs and the Chinese street gangs under study. There are significant differences between Chinese street gangs in New York and the various, relatively new Asian gangs observed on the West Coast and other parts of the country. Many of these latter gangs (especially from Vietnam) spawned from recent immigration waves greatly impacting the United States and particularly California. Yet, in Chin's book, there is relatively little, if any discussion of these differences. Interesting, is that while significant yet limited numbers of incidents (especially on the west coast) have revealed strong associations between Asian street gangs (including Chinese street gangs) and sophisticated organized crime cartels, Chin announces that "although a number of law enforcement authorities have suggested that many Chinese offenders are involved in both heroin trafficking and human smuggling, there is no reliable information to support this contention at this time." (163). I would suggest that Chinese gang members may be very reluctant to share their associations with Dr. Chin during their interviews. Such a blanket statement is contradicted even in Chin's own work when discussing the Ghost Shadows; after all, this was a large and successful racketeering case. Historical and scholarly work on other street gangs, tongs and triads (such as the Chih Kung Tong, Oh Leong and Hip Sing) also raises questions as to the veracity of such a statement. Indeed, there are many cases were Asian and Chinese street gangs are inexorably linked to more sophisticated, adult organized crime cartels. These comments are not made to denigrate the study completely; they only point-out a weakness in any case study on such a huge topic -- qualitative research simply does not lend itself to such broad based conclusions. Chin's data on gang characteristics, activities, and violence are significantly important. He clearly links gang activity with Chinatown's political economy and social development in New York, limited to a unique geographical and historical setting. Such are the problems with ethnographic studies. Probably Chin's most important contribution is his outstanding discussion on gang behavior and criminality, particularly the in-depth analysis of extortion and the Chinese community. Clearly, Chin's work may be the only reliable data we have on such a closed and isolated behavior where both victim and offender have agreed upon "norms" involving the amount of money to be requested, the demeanor to be displayed, and the timing and frequency of the extortion demands. Chin's work may be more interesting for the student interested in understanding victimization patterns than one desiring to better comprehend offender behavior. In any event, Chin's book is well worth the read. It is straightforward and relatively easy to digest, chock full of magnificent details. It provides a wonderful addition to the growing literature on Asian gangs.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198026273
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,242,308
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Ko-lin Chin is an Assistant Professor at the School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University-Newark. He is the author of Chinese Subculture and Criminality (1990), and the co-editor of Handbook of Organized Crime in the United States (1994). Currently, he is studying illegal Chinese immigrants in the United States.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 3
2 Research Strategies and Methods 21
3 Severity of Gang Victimization 35
4 Patterns of Gang Extortion 59
5 Victim Reactions to Gang Extortion 78
6 Gang Characteristics 100
7 Gang Violence 125
8 The Gang as an Enterprise 142
9 Controlling Chinese Gangs 164
Notes 191
Glossary 209
Bibliography 211
Index 227
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)