Essay on Chinese Consumption Of Foreign Commodities

Essay on Chinese Consumption Of Foreign Commodities

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Chinese consumption of foreign commodities: a comparative perspective

Gary G. Hamilton (1977) published a paper that focused on the Chinese consumption of foreign commodities, or more specifically why there was a lack of acceptance of western products in China. In his research methodology he analyzes from a historical and comparative perspectives. In the historical analysis, the research looks into the different dynasties in Chinese history. The historic analysis factored in the availability of foreign products and the views of having foreign products on different levels of societal hierarchy. During the historical comparison, Hamilton uses three theories of consumption to explain the non-acceptance of western products in China, the economic theory, cultural theory, and social theory.

Looking through the different perspectives, the economic theory focused on the country’s different income group. Through this perspective, the research found that all the variations of income groups where rather practical in terms of purchases.
Through the use of the cultural theory, Hamilton (1977), states that the perception of value in the Chinese traditional views of products, are values emanating from the tradition of Confucianism. Hence the consumption or purchase of the products where found to have had symbolic representation.
Relating to the symbolic representation, the social theory, explained Hamilton (1977), the status competition explanation. This encompasses the views of products based on the social desire, the social desire being where the individual would identifies the context of the product and then matched to how they view themselves in relation to their contemporaries in their social surrounding.


Migration of Chinese consu...


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...ere found to have the most propensity to use or purchase novelty products, especially foreign value expressive products or services.
In the comparison between the consumers in America and China, Hung, et al. (2007) state that cross national differences in consumption behavior are due to the cohort differences. This outlook can be seen when the comparison of Red Guards and American Baby boomers were shown. The main differences are exhibited in the generational cohorts that followed. The contrast between the ownership of cars and houses between the cohorts can be clearly illustrated, the Red Guards having a smaller degree of ownership than the younger Chinese generation Cohorts, and that of the Baby Boomers in America. Thus, these findings demonstrated that the differences in consumption behavior is not only in the cross national differences but also intra-culturally.

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