Source: (1989) Criminal Justice Review. 14(2): 141-153

The American and Chinese approaches to social control offer two fundamentally different philosophical and experiential perspectives. While the rights of the individual are of paramount importance in the United States, and an exceedingly active formalized legal system is responding to those needs, the Chines have adopted a vastly different approach. The hallmark of Chinese social control is the preeminent position of society, or the social collective, and there is a marked aversion to formal law or any judicial system. The core of Chinese social control is based on Confucian social ethics which stress self-discipline and subordination to the family and to the State. Under Chairman Mao, Confucian principles were wedded to Marxist-Leninist ideology, but China resisted the bureaucratized model of the Soviet Union. Current Social control practices include a strong reliance on mediation, massive legal education, and rigorous neighborhood organization strategies. In those instances where formalized court processes are employed, the Chinese have adopted a strategy that coincides with the perceived needs of their socialist system. Recent events in China indicate clearly that, while their informal style of social control is relatively effective, by no means has it eradicated all forms of deviannce. The consequences of the Chinese style of socialism and its concomitant mandate of social responsiblity infer a denigration of individual rights. (author's abstract)