Institutionalizing Social Norms and Legal Culture : Social Dynamics under Legal Awareness Policy in Contemporary China

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  • Kwong-or Fu

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1015
Journal / PublicationBeijing Law Review
Issue number3
Online published28 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021



This paper examines China’s policies on legal awareness in mid-2021. It brings into focus the social dynamics of the continuous institutionalization of social norms that are shaping the legal culture in China. It is argued that the discovery of legal culture outweighed the sociocultural imaginations of orders by the institutionalization of social norms. On the utilization of laws, it shows that the utilization of the laws is the direct result of the psychological expectation in seeking Justice via the laws—i.e. the narrower the gap between law-on-the-book and law-in-action, the higher incentives the Chinese citizens resorting disputes to the laws. On enhancing the obedience of the laws, it shows that a powerful discourse would be engineered with the external ideological environment/social norms (values, beliefs, and Zeitgeist of the contemporary Chinese society) such as the political atmosphere of “anti-corruption”, “security”, and “safety” and the recall of the pure socialist spirit.

Research Area(s)

  • Legal Awareness, Legal Culture, Legal Discourse, Institutionalization, Social Norms, Social Dynamics, Utilization of the Laws, Obedience of the Laws

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