Materialism and conspicuous consumption in China: A cross-cultural examination

Jeffrey S. Podoshen*, Lu Li, Junfeng ZHANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)


With the growing rise in consumer spending and economic power in Asian societies, it is increasingly important to explore the implications of these developments on consumer culture. This cross-cultural study first discusses the rise of materialism and conspicuous consumption in post-revolution China then examines differences in these phenomena between young adult consumers, aged 18-35, living in urban China and the United States. Utilizing survey data from over 600 respondents, significant differences were found in both materialism and conspicuous consumption, with Chinese young adults scoring higher in both variables. The findings show, that compared with past comparative studies, it appears both materialism and conspicuous consumption are on the rise among urban Chinese consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese conspicuous consumption
  • Chinese consumer behaviour
  • Chinese materialism
  • Conspicuous consumption
  • Materialism
  • Young adult materialism


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