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Republican BeijingThe City and Its Histories$
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Madeleine YueDong and Reginald E. Zelnik

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520230507

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520230507.001.0001

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Consumption: Spatial and Temporal Hierarchies

Consumption: Spatial and Temporal Hierarchies

Chapter:
(p.142) Chapter 5 Consumption: Spatial and Temporal Hierarchies
Source:
Republican Beijing
Author(s):

Madeleine Yue Dong

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520230507.003.0006

This chapter examines Republican Beijing's new market system and patterns of consumption. It explains that three types of goods, excluding food, circulated through Beijing's markets: industrial products, handicraft items from Chinese cities and the countryside, and recycled articles. Despite some overlaps, markets and shops tended to specialize in only one of these types of goods, and their customers tended to be limited to fairly distinct social groups. The chapter argues that while most forms of trading tended to divide the consuming population along class, status, or gender lines, the aspect of Beijing's business world that most often united them was recycling, which involved items ranging from extremely expensive antiques to strips of rag.

Keywords:   Republican Beijing, market system, patterns of consumption, recycled articles, trading, recycling

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