The generational divide of consumption in a changing China
Steven, Miles (2009) The generational divide of consumption in a changing China In: Powel, Jason L and Cook, Ian G, eds. Aging in Asia. Nova, New York, pp. 159-171. ISBN 978-1-60741-649-4
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China is a testing ground: a testing ground for the most rapidly emerging consumer society in history. Since the death of Chairman Mao China appears to have been consumed by the practices and the rhetoric of consumption (Latham 2006a). But the world that consumption offers is not without its losers and the contradictory nature of social change in China is perhaps best illustrated by the tensions that exist between the traditions associated with China’s past and the freedoms at least partially promised by its future. This chapter is concerned with how the tensions inherent in rapid social, economic and most of all cultural change, are played out in the form of inter-generational relationships and hence with what the changing impact of consumption upon China might mean for what it means to be a citizen, and not least an older citizen, of Chinese society.
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