International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Analysis of Corruption from Sociocultural Perspectives
Winnie Tong

Since the 1990s, corruption has increasingly attracted global attention. Scholars often attribute the root causes of corruption to manifold reasons, including government bureaucracy, corporation monopolies, opaque government incomes, weak accountability, and lack of strict law enforcement and necessary public supervision. However, deeper sociocultural factors behind corruption are less examined and often underrated.This paper aims to explore the relationship between corruption and cultural psychology by examining Chinese society. The influences of sociocultural factors on corruption are investigated from two diverse viewpoints: (a) unique features of Chinese culture, including social relations, favors, face, and office standards; and (b) Hofstede’s cultural dimensions as a comparative Western framework. In addition, the paper includes a novel meta-analysis of convicted corrupt officials from China, revealing that the majority of corrupt officials have less privileged or lowincome agrarian family backgrounds (Appendix: Table 1). This paper postulates that an individual’s negative experiences in childhood (e.g., poverty, hunger) combined with a collectivist agrarian tradition likely have a strong impact on future corruption. By exploring the seldom discussed aspects of cultural psychology on Chinese corruption, this paper seeks to shed new light on corruption etiology that goes beyond traditional Western schools of thought.

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