Double ‘In-Process’ Identity Project: An Ethno-semiotic Study of the Transformation of New Chinese Young Consumers in Shanghai

Wing Sun Liu, Eric Ping Hung Li, Man Lok Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This study examines the identity transformation among the Chinese young consumers who resided in Shanghai, China. The living environment has heralded an era of multiple market ideologies infusing western cosmopolitanism into Chinese traditions. Thus, in this article, we examine how the Chinese youngsters deal with a diversity of symbols to construct the ‘New Chinese’ cosmopolitan identity by (1) redefining their modern and cosmopolitan selves through the exploitation of new market symbols; (2) resisting stereotypical Chinese imageries through consistent or temporal rebellious acts; and (3) reforming the ‘Chinese’ selves through collective efforts. The findings yielded contribute to the current discussions of global consumer culture and symbolic consumption by illustrating the ethnocentric symbolic interaction among young Chinese consumers and market symbols in emerging economies like China.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFashion, Style and Popular Culture
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Aug 2020

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