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The First Little Emperors in the Postmodern(East) Mall - China
Liu , Wing Sun
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This is an interpretive study that explores the potency of consumption culture in China through a selected group that belongs to the first generation of the one-child policy – the ‘Little Emperors’. This is a population that is unprecedented, not only in China but also in human history. The dawning of postmodernity has ushered in a consumption culture. Fashion and brands are chosen as the consumption sites in this study in view of their significance: they are accessible and inundated with symbolic meanings for the construction of identities. In the vertigo of postmodernity, there is a sudden excess of commodities and signs in the marketplace. Anchored in traditional Chinese values and operating from a holistic perspective, this first generation of Little Emperors has cultured a different kind of consumption literacy in the ‘Postmodern(Eas)t Mall’. They are brand raisers, in the context, there is a salient socio-cultural logic in symbolic consumption, an outside-in dialectical process in the self construct, a layered self with a strong institutional influence and discipline ascribed or imagined, they are happy consumers, even though they may not know fashion or brands very well.
PhD in Management Studies