Do socio-cultural issues matter? A qualitative psychological study of Chinese criminals in Aotearoa/New Zealand
Feng, Q. Y. (2011). Do socio-cultural issues matter? A qualitative psychological study of Chinese criminals in Aotearoa/New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6018
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6018
Acculturation literature on Chinese immigrants and international students indicates that low language proficiency, over-emphasis on losing face and the consequent acculturative stress, may hinder the development of both language skills and socializing competence and lead to psychological and behavioural dysfunction. Contemporary research into the socio-cultural issues of immigrant prisoners, particularly Chinese prisoners, is sparse in New Zealand. Thus, some baseline information on the existence of socio-cultural issues and their related acculturative stress of this group of individuals is needed. The purpose of this study was to find out whether the socio-cultural issues, particularly language barriers, social isolation, anti-social peer pressure and acculturative stress were present among these Chinese prisoners prior to their offending. In addition, the researcher intended to discuss the possible links between these sociocultural issues and the participants’ offending in New Zealand society. The individual interviews of 13 Chinese inmates, or 13% of the total Chinese population in New Zealand prisons were conducted with the support of the Department of Corrections. The data suggested that low language proficiency and face-protection-oriented voluntary separation from the host society and the resulting social isolation and anti-social peer influence were major issues for most of these individuals. Many of them expressed very negative emotions or mistrust towards others and meaningless life experience with little support both from their family and the host society. Consequent depression and anxiety just before their offending were evident in the responses, particularly from some female prisoners. As a result, it is suggested that the socio-cultural issues that the participants in this study had encountered, may have contributed to their undermined psychological well-being and behavioural dysfunction and contributed to the resultant criminal action.
University of Waikato
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