Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Sociology

Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 115 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Steven F. Messner

Committee Members

Glenn D. Deane, Tse-Chuan Yang


Anomie, China, Confucianism, Corruption Perception, Legalism, Corruption, Legalism (Chinese philosophy), Anomy

Subject Categories

Criminology | Sociology


Recent years have witnessed a steadily increasing scholarly interest in perceptions of corruption, particularly in terms of level and prevalence. However, previous studies have largely overlooked perceived seriousness as another unique dimension of corruption perception. Furthermore, previous studies seeking causes of corruption perception have failed to consider cultural factors at either the individual or aggregate level as potential predictors. To fill the gap, the current dissertation employs the 2014 Chinese Family Panel Studies and other relevant data to explore the relationships between corruption seriousness perception and cultural factors. This dissertation strategically examines two individual cultural attachments (i.e., Confucianism and Legalism attachments) and an overarching socio-cultural context (i.e., structural anomie). In addition to their direct effects, this research also explores potential indirect effects of structural anomie and its effect as a moderator. Using cluster robust-standard errors modeling, this dissertation finds that 1) stronger attachments to Confucianism and Legalism increase corruption seriousness perception; 2) structural anomie reduces corruption seriousness perception indirectly via decreased Legalism attachment; 3) structural anomie works as a moderator to attenuate the effect of Confucianism attachment. Research and policy implications are discussed. The dissertation concludes with a discussion on possible directions future research on corruption perception could take.

Included in

Criminology Commons