Is communism most popular among millennials

8. Luxury consumption

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2020 | OriginalPaper | Book chapter

Summary

The global demand for luxury goods is increasing by an average of three to five percent annually. In 2018, China alone accounted for a third of global luxury consumption, with around a fifth of the world's population. Since luxury consumption is seen as a visible symbol of the development of inequality in a society, it also expresses the transformation of Chinese society from a communist agricultural society to a society with a capitalist market economy. Since 1978, China has been catching up on the socio-economic development in a compressed form that the western industrialized countries have been going through since the beginning of the 19th century, and this in a potential national market of subcontinental proportions and under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, which is in its catching up efforts fueling the capitalist dynamic with promises of wealth and luxury and thus accepting blatant social inequality despite its success in fighting poverty. The proportion of the country's population eligible for sustainable luxury consumption is now estimated at 180 to 200 million people.
Economic growth and socio-economic framework conditions alone cannot explain the disproportionate luxury consumption of the Chinese. Culturally, it is more rooted in the traditional Southeast Asian gift culture and the Confucian feudal society, in which luxury made visible the status and rank of the respective family acquired through education in the imperial bureaucratic society. The Chinese millennials, the first generation of heirs to wealth during the reform era, are following this tradition with their luxury consumption, often criticized as insensitive. In this increasingly self-confident society, the younger generations in particular are reflecting on their national traditions. The western luxury brands, which until now have dominated the Chinese market only, are increasingly facing competition from Chinese labels. Their realignment not only requires new forms of marketing, but also creative adaptation to traditional Chinese craftsmanship and design language.

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Literature about this chapter
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-28305-6_8

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