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Policing and Punishment in China

Policing and Punishment in China
From Patriarchy to 'the People'

Out of Print

  • Date Published: October 1992
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print November 2001
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521400978

Out of Print

Unavailable - out of print November 2001
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About the Authors
  • This book traces the transition in the regimes of regulation and punishment through late imperial to modern China, an area long neglected in Chinese studies. Policing and Punishment in China is particularly significant for its theoretical framework; it is not a simple narrative history of policing, but rather draws on Michel Foucault's theoretical work on governmentality, punishment, and control, using his genealogical method to construct a 'history of the present'. While most Chinese Marxist accounts of history have assumed the sublimation of the past as a precondition for the present, Dr Dutton illustrates that 'feudal relics' do play a part in the social regulation of contemporary China. The regime of punishment is no longer dominated by the physical, but the psychology of that system remains today, so that a person's file is marked rather than their body. China was the first nation ever to use statistical records as a basis by which to plot and police its people, and contemporary institutions for policing rely heavily on the maintenance of traditional notions of community mutuality. However China's current regime is not a new version of traditional dynasties; a transition has occurred and it has been that from patriarchy to 'the people'.

    • The subject is frequently in the headlines as China constantly refuses to halt its violation of human rights - notably the Tiananmen Square massacre and renewed pressure from Amnesty International on their 30th anniversary
    • Dutton does not only examine the methods and aims of punishment but tries to explain them, tracing theories of punishment back to feudal traditions
    • Reveals how much 'modern' Chinese tyranny was inherited from former regimes
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 1992
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521400978
    • length: 401 pages
    • dimensions: 237 x 159 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.484kg
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print November 2001
  • Table of Contents

    1. From 'facts' to theory: the emergence of the 'feudal relics' debate
    Part I. The Policing of Virtue:
    2. The policing of households
    3. Toward a history of Chinese registration
    Part II. Two The Penal Regime:
    4. From the policing of virtue to the policing of pain
    5. From the policing of pain to the economy of discipline: punishment in the modern period
    Part III. The Policing of Households: The Policing of Work:
    6. The emergence of the Hukou
    Part IV. On Useful Timber:
    7. Securing the perimeter
    8. Gulags and Utopias
    9. The legacy of 'orientalism'
    the legacy of the gulag.

  • Author

    Michael R. Dutton, University of Melbourne

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