The question of consumption emerged as a major focus of research and scholarship in the 1990s but the breadth and diversity of consumer culture has not been fully enough explored. The meanings of consumption, particularly in relation to lifestyle and identity, are of great importance to academic areas including business studies, sociology, cultural and media studies, psychology, geography and politics. The SAGE Handbook of Consumer Culture is a one-stop resource for scholars and students of consumption, where the key dimensions of consumer culture are critically discussed and articulated. The editors have organised contributions from a global and interdisciplinary team of scholars into six key sections: Part 1: Sociology of Consumption Part 2: Geographies of Consumer Culture Part 3: Consumer Culture Studies in Marketing Part 4: Consumer Culture in Media and Cultural Studies Part 5: Material Cultures of Consumption Part 6: The Politics of Consumer Culture

Consumption and Consumer Rights in Contemporary China

Consumption and Consumer Rights in Contemporary China
Erika Kuever

Introduction

A visit to a Chinese market or department store reveals at a glance the scale and depth of the social and economic changes that have taken place in China over the last three decades. Little more than a generation ago food and personal necessities were distributed by one's work unit and the few shops that existed carried a limited inventory of goods which could only be obtained through one's employer or personal connections. Today, Beijing's many private markets and department stores are full of seemingly endless quantities of everything imaginable. Small greengrocers jockey for space with international chain stores, fast food franchises, and luxury shopping malls in crowded retail clusters, ...

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