China's New Consumers : Social Development and Domestic Demand book cover
1st Edition

China's New Consumers
Social Development and Domestic Demand

ISBN 9780415411240
Published November 29, 2006 by Routledge
384 Pages

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Book Description

Exploring China's consumer revolution over the past three decades, this book shows a continuing cycle leading to excess supply and disappointing demand, at the centre of which lies exaggerated expectations of China's new consumers.

Combining economic trends with the author’s anthropological background, China’s New Consumers details the livelihoods and lifestyles of China's new and evolving social categories who, divided by wealth, location and generation, have both benefited from and been disadvantaged by the past two decades of reform and rapid economic growth. Given that consumption is about so much more than shopping and spending, this book focuses on the perceptions, priorities and concerns of China's new consumers which are an essential part of any contemporary narrative about China's domestic market. Documenting the social consequences of several decades of rapid economic growth and the new interest in 'all-round' social development, China's New Consumers will be of value to students, entrepreneurs and a wide variety of readers who are interested in social trends and concerns in China today.

Table of Contents

Preface: 'The China Story'  1. Introduction: Highlighting Demand in Development  Part 1: Narrating Demand: A Consumer Revolution  2. Increasing Demand: Spending and Shopping  3. Weakening Demand: Saving and Segmenting  Part 2: Segmenting Demand: The Wealth Pyramid  4. Elite Lifestyles: The Good Life and Yupward Mobility  5. An Urban Conundrum: Impoverished Workers  6. A Rural Impasse: Fragile Livelihoods  Part 3: Profiling Demand: The Demographic Pyramid  7. Children First: The Indulgence Factor  8. Chasing Youthful Dreams: Aspirations and Alienation  9. The Greying Generations: Shifting Needs  Part 4: Present Trends: Future Demand  10. Consumer Confidence: Stability and Security?  11. Developing Demand: From Trickle to Transition

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Elisabeth Croll is Professor of Chinese Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. For the past thirty years, she has undertaken field studies and written widely on social development issues in contemporary China.


'Drawing on 30 years of fieldwork in urban and rural areas, large coastalcities, and small county towns, Croll effortlessly grounds macrostructural analysis in vivid interviews and personal observations. The detail is impressive and I would recommend the book as essential background for any professional traveling to China on business. The volume would also succeed as the core text in an undergraduate course on Chinese society or political economy' - DEBORAH DAVIS, China Information 2008; 22; 146