Saturday, June 02, 2012

Culture, Communism, and China's Modern Consumer

Tom Doctoroff, an ad man working in Shanghai, has good insights into modern Chinese culture. This interview with Leonard Lopate is worth a listen:

ChinaSmack: ... After 13 years here, I am fundamentally convinced that there is a unifying “Confucian” conflict — between self-protection and status projection — that brands have a fundamental role in resolving. Unlike practically any other country (Korea and Vietnam come closest), China is both boldly ambitious (ladders are meant to be climbed and meritocracy is a cherished value) and regimented, with hierarchical and procedural booby traps for anyone who hasn’t mastered the “system.” This tension between upward mobility and fear-based conformism shows up everywhere, in every business meeting, in every struggle with a mother-in-law, in every new generation release on the internet. 

1 comment:

Randy Ison said...

Africa For The Chinese
Letter to The London Times
Francis Galton

June 5, 1873The natural capacity of the Chinaman shows itself by the


with which, notwithstanding his timidity, he competes with strangers,


he may reside. The Chinese emigrants possess an extraordinary

instinct for

political and social organization; they contrive to establish for

themselves a

police and internal government, and they give no trouble to their rulers

so long

as they are left to manage those matters by themselves. They are

good-tempered, frugal, industrious, saving, commercially inclined, and

extraordinarily prolific. They thrive in all countries, the natives of the


provinces being perfectly able to labor and multiply in the hottest

climates. Of

all known varieties or mankind there is none so appropriate as the

Chinaman to

become the future occupant of the enormous regions which lie between


tropics, whose extent is far more vast than it appears, from the cramped

manner in which those latitudes are pictured in the ordinary maps of the


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