Chinese shoppers peruse the wares at a mall. Thanks to China’s recent economic boom hundreds of millions of people have been lifted from poverty and can now enjoy products and services previously unavailable or unaffordable. PHOTO BY TOM CHRISTENSEN.
Consumerism in China is not a new development; for hundreds of years Chinese have used material goods to convey status and identity. Mass consumerism, however, is a relatively new phenomenon that has both advantages and disadvantages to