Gangs and the gig economy: triads, precarity and illicit work in Hong Kong

Fraser, A. (2023) Gangs and the gig economy: triads, precarity and illicit work in Hong Kong. British Journal of Criminology, (doi: 10.1093/bjc/azad018) (Early Online Publication)

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Paid employment in the criminal economy is, in many ways, the essence of precarious labour yet to date criminological work on the so-called ‘gig economy’ is scarce. Here we apply emergent sociological literature on ‘post-Fordist’ working cultures to precarious youth employment in Hong Kong, arguing: (1) recent reorganizations of labour markets towards flexible entrepreneurship are mirrored in the illicit economy; (2) a shift in structural features of triad gangs has led to a parallel form of ‘network sociality’; and (3) triad-affiliated youth remained rooted in place-based ‘communities of practice’ that form a point of difference from existing theory. In concluding, we reflect on the implications of these arguments for the study of illicit economies, triads and post-Fordist working cultures.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Hong Kong Research Grants Council (award ES/K010409/1).
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fraser, Professor Alistair
Authors: Fraser, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:British Journal of Criminology
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1464-3529
Published Online:30 May 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in the British Journal of Criminology 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
168561(Re)imaginging youth: a comparative sociology of Scotland and Hong KongSusan BatchelorEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K010409/1S&PS - Social Centre for Criminal Justice Research