Swim against the tide: Using qualitative data to build a theory on chinese human smuggling

Sheldon X. Zhang, Ko Lin Chin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter describes why qualitative research has made a major contribution to the theoretical understanding of Chinese criminal organizations in transnational human smuggling activities. Following the Golden Venture incident, the United States government intensified its anti-smuggling efforts, deploying resources such as high-tech underwater listening devices to overseas diplomatic posts in an attempt to curb the influx of illegal Chinese immigrants. New York City was the number-one city where illegal Chinese wanted to settle at the specific time. It is the most common final destination for illegal Chinese immigrants from Fujian province. The chapter describes the possible involvement of traditional organized crime groups, because transnational human smuggling just seemed improbable as an individual activity. Transnational human smuggling as an illicit enterprise faces a set of transactional constraints different from those of traditional racketeering activities produces direct consequences on the organizational as well as operational characteristics of smuggling organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationQualitative Research in Criminology
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Criminological Theory
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781351495257
ISBN (Print)9781412856775
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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