Spatial Differentiation and Global Oriented Consumption: The Case of Shanghai

By Jiaming Sun.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

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This paper focuses on the spatial differentiation of utilizing various household appliances in terms of global oriented consumption in urban area effected by different kinds of global connections (i.e. have been to foreign countries, have worked for foreign companies, have relatives overseas, and surf foreign web sites). Analysis of the data from 600 cases of a sample in Shanghai, China*( The data were collected by the PI of the research project, Dr. Xiangming Chen, with funding from the Chiang Ching-Kuo foundation for international exchange in 2001.) reveals clearly a considerable variation among different residential areas with regard to prevalent socioeconomic status among those areas per se. However, personal global connections have more significant affect on global consumption behaviors (i.e. numbers of household appliance with foreign brand). It is to say that residents who have a certain global connections are more likely to purchase foreign brand goods. The findings revealed by the result of analysis, rather strongly, that personal global connections not only affect global consumption behaviors but may actually reveal new social stratification in urban area. The meanings of findings are discussed in light of theories of globalization and social stratification.

Keywords: Personal Global Connections, Global Oriented Consumption, Spatial Differentiation, Social Stratification, Shanghai, China

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.171-184. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 708.564KB).

Dr. Jiaming Sun

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Texas A&M University-commerce, Commerce, Texas, USA

Jiaming Sun, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Texas A & M University-Commerce. He had been a faculty member of Sociology Department, International Politics Department in Fudan University for eleven years before coming to the United State. His book (in Chinese) “Generation Gaps: the Background of Transition Period 1991-1994” has been widely cited in the studies of social change and cultural transition in China. In resent years he has published books both in English and Chinese such as “Global Connectivity and Local Transformation”, “Global Sociology: Analysis of Transnational Phenomena”, “Empirical Approaches to Global Sociology” and a number of articles on globalization, urban and cultural study in Journals such as “Environment and Planning A”, “Journal of Social Sciences”, “Journal of International Consumer Marketing” “Journal of Urban Health”, and “China: An International Journal” in the last twenty years.