Consumption: Spatial and Temporal Hierarchies

Madeleine Yue Dong

in Republican Beijing

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780520230507
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927636 | DOI:
Consumption: Spatial and Temporal Hierarchies

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This chapter examines Republican Beijing's new market system and patterns of consumption. It explains that three types of goods, excluding food, circulated through Beijing's markets: industrial products, handicraft items from Chinese cities and the countryside, and recycled articles. Despite some overlaps, markets and shops tended to specialize in only one of these types of goods, and their customers tended to be limited to fairly distinct social groups. The chapter argues that while most forms of trading tended to divide the consuming population along class, status, or gender lines, the aspect of Beijing's business world that most often united them was recycling, which involved items ranging from extremely expensive antiques to strips of rag.

Keywords: Republican Beijing; market system; patterns of consumption; recycled articles; trading; recycling

Chapter.  11318 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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