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Breaking new ground in the study of Chinese urban society, this book applies critical discourse analysis to ethnographic data gathered in Anshan, a third-tier city and market in northeast China. The book confronts the – still widespread – notion that Chinese consumers are not "real" individuals, and in doing so represents an ambitious attempt to give a new twist to the structure versus agency debates in social theory. To this end, Michael B. Griffiths shows how claims to virtues such as authenticity, knowledge, civility, sociable character, moral proprietary and self-cultivation emerge from and give shape to social interaction. Data material for this path-breaking analysis is drawn from informants as diverse as consumerist youths, dissident intellectuals, enterprising farmers, retired Party cadres, the rural migrant staff of an inner-city restaurant, the urban families dependent on a machine-repair workshop, and a range of white-collar professionals. Consumers and Individuals in China: Standing out, fitting in, will appeal to sociologists, anthropologists, and cultural studies scholars, China Studies generalists, and professionals working at the intersection of culture and business in China. The vivid descriptions of living and doing fieldwork in China also mean that those travelling there will find the book stimulating and useful
Originating in the 1820s and used for 150 years thereafter, qiaopi is the name given in Chinese to letters written home by Chinese emigrants to accompany remittances. Their key function was to preserve family ties. Although such correspondence focused principally on the provision of economic support, the qiaopi also touched on cultural, political, educational, and gender themes. This book therefore seeks to examine the qiaopi from two interconnected perspectives. One views qiaopi from a political and institutional angle, the other from a financial and social angle. Bringing together the extensive research of a group of international scholars, this multi-authored volume sheds light on the larger significance of the qiaopi for modern China. Taking an empirical, evidence-driven approach, the contributors employ a wide range of primary sources in both Chinese and English and relate their findings to scholarship in both the Chinese-speaking world and in non-Chinese interdisciplinary fields. In so doing, this book helps to bridge the gap between Chinese- and English-speaking researchers in the field of qiaopi studies. As one of the first books in English on the qiaopi trade and its significance, this book will appeal to students and scholars of Chinese history and Chinese migration, as well in Migration Studies and Diaspora Studies more generally.
Documentaries have recently become a favourite format for Chinese state-directed media to present an officially sanctioned view of history. Indeed, this is not confined to Chinese national history. In stark contrast to the earlier self-centred preoccupation with Chinese history, there has been an upsurge in interest in foreign history, with a view to illuminating China’s role not only in world history, but also on the global stage today, and in the future. This book examines three recent Chinese documentary television series which present the officially sanctioned view of the rise of the modern West, the reasons for the end of the Soviet Union, and the legitimisation of the present-day Chinese government via a specific reading of modern Chinese history to argue for a ‘Chinese rise’ in the future. With a focus on these documentaries, Gotelind Müller discusses how history is presented on screen, and explores the function of visual history for memory culture and wider society. Further, this book reveals how the presentation of Chinese and foreign history in a global framework impacts on the officially transmitted views on Self and Other, and thus provides a keen insight into how the Chinese themselves regard their ‘global rise’. Documentary, World History, and National Power in the PRC will be welcomed by students and scholars working across a number of fields, including Chinese studies, East Asian studies, media studies, television studies, history and memory studies.
Consumption practices in China have been transformed at an unprecedented pace. Under Mao Zedong, the state controlled nearly all aspects of what people consumed, from everyday necessities to entertainment and the media; today, shoddy state-run stores characterized by a dearth of choices have made way for luxury malls and hypermarkets filled with a multitude of products. Consumption in China explores what it means to be a consumer in the world’s fastest growing economy. LiAnne Yu provides a multi-faceted portrait of the impact of increased consumption on urban spaces, social status, lifestyles, identities, and freedom of expression. The book also examines what is unique and what is universal about how consumer practices in China have developed, investigating the factors that differentiate them from what has been observed among the already mature consumer markets. Behind the often staggering statistics about China are the very human stories that highlight the emotional and social triggers behind consumption. This engaging book is a valuable resource for students, scholars and business professionals interested in a deeper understanding of what motivates China’s consumers, and what challenges they face as more aspects of everyday life become commoditized.
Today, most Americans take for granted that China will be the next global superpower. But despite the nation's growing influence, the average Chinese person is still a mystery - or, at best, a baffling set of seeming contradictions - to Westerners who expect the rising Chinese consumer to resemble themselves. Here, Tom Doctoroff, the guiding force of advertising giant J. Walter Thompson's (JWT) China operations, marshals his 20 years of experience navigating this fascinating intersection of commerce and culture to explain the mysteries of China. He explores the many cultural, political, and economic forces shaping the twenty-first-century Chinese and their implications for businesspeople, marketers, and entrepreneurs - or anyone else who wants to know what makes the Chinese tick. Dismantling common misconceptions, Doctoroff provides the context Westerners need to understand the distinctive worldview that drives Chinese businesses and consumers, including: - why family and social stability take precedence over individual self-expression and the consequences for education, innovation, and growth; - their fundamentally different understanding of morality, and why Chinese tolerate human rights abuses, rampant piracy, and endemic government corruption; and - the long and storied past that still drives decision making at corporate, local, and national levels. Change is coming fast and furious in China, challenging not only how the Western world sees the Chinese but how they see themselves. From the new generation's embrace of Christmas to the middle-class fixation with luxury brands; from the exploding senior demographic to what the Internet means for the government's hold on power, Doctoroff pulls back the curtain to reveal a complex and nuanced picture of a facinating people whose lives are becoming ever more entwined with our own.
Annual Editions is a series of over 65 volumes, each designed to provide convenient, inexpensive access to a wide range of current articles from some of the most respected magazines, newspapers, and journals published today. Annual Editions are updated on a regular basis through a continuous monitoring of over 300 periodical sources. The articles selected are authored by prominent scholars, researchers, and commentators writing for a general audience. The Annual Editions volumes have a number of common organizational features designed to make them particularly useful in the classroom: a general introduction; an annotated table of contents; a topic guide; an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites; and a brief overview for each section. Each volume also offers an online Instructor's Resource Guide with testing materials. Using Annual Editions in the Classroom is the general instructor's guide for our popular Annual Editions series and is available in print (0073301906) or online. Visit www.mhcls.com for more details.

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