Consumerism and self-representation in an era of global capitalism

Authored by: Gary G. Hamilton , Donald Fels

Handbook of Cultural Sociology

Print publication date:  July  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415474450
eBook ISBN: 9780203891377
Adobe ISBN: 9781134026159


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“What a difference a century makes,” observed the distinguished anthropologist G. William Skinner (1999: 56). A century ago cities in China looked Chinese. Buildings had a distinctively Chinese architecture. The cities were laid out with a distinctively Chinese sense of space and propriety. The shops lining the streets sold distinctively Chinese products that were to be consumed in distinctively Chinese ways. And the people walking up and down the street looked distinctively Chinese, dressed in characteristic clothes and shoes, and talked in an array of local dialects. A century later, the outer appearance of things is no longer uniquely Chinese.

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