Title

Western Cosmetics in the Gendered Development of Consumer Culture in China

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2007

Abstract

This paper examines the changes in China's gender regime during the reform period, especially during China's accession to the WTO. The analysis provides a framework to relate these changes to the consumption behavior of women, especially the increased consumption of cosmetics, to interpret the impact of accession on the gender regime in China. Institutionalist theories that model consumption decisions as a personal display of group identity are extended to the special case of gender identity. According to this framework, the desire to display identity, such as social status or lifestyles, shapes the decision to consume commodities that also display gender such as cosmetics. Thus, the new gender regime is an unintended consequence of a complex pursuit of identity. When consumption is understood as a performance of identity, we can see how the expansion of aggressive marketing tactics affects consumption by influencing the associations of goods with social status.

Comments

Also published in:

Hopkins, Barbara E. 2010. “Western Cosmetics in the Gendered Development of Consumer Culture in China,” in Gender, China And The World Trade Organization: Essays From Feminist Economics (special issue of Feminist Economics, China, Gender and the WTO, 2007). Edited by Günseli Berik, Xiao-yuan Dong, Gale Summerfield. London: Routledge. 282-301

芭芭拉 隺普金斯(Hopkins, Barbara E.) 2009. 中国社会性别与消费文化发展 中的西方化妆品. (Western Cosmetics in the Gendered Development of Consumer Culture in China) in 中国经济转变与女性经济学 (China's Economic Transition and Feminist Economics. (translation of special issue of Feminist Economics, China, Gender and the WTO, 2007) Edited by Günseli Berik, Xiao-yuan Dong, Gale Summerfield. Beijing: Economic Science Press. 287-306.

DOI

10.1080/13545700701439416