Fashion as consumer entrepreneurship: Emergent risk culture, social network markets, and the launch of Vogue in China

Hartley, John & Montgomery, Lucy (2007) Fashion as consumer entrepreneurship: Emergent risk culture, social network markets, and the launch of Vogue in China. In Harmonious Society, Civil Society and the Media, October 2007, Communication University of China, Beijing.


China has earned a reputation as an economy based on utility: the large-scale manufacture of low-priced goods. But there is no such thing as a utilitarian economy. Useful functionality, fitness for purpose and efficiency (whether of production or use) are only part of the story, perhaps not even the primary part. Much more important are what Veblen called 'honorific' values, arguably the driving force of development, change and value in any economy. To understand the Chinese economy therefore, it is not sufficient to point to its utilitarian aspect. Honorific status-competition is a more fundamental driver than utilitarian cost-competition. Social network markets are the expression of these honorific values, relationships and connections that structure and coordinate individual choices. This paper explores how such markets are developing in China in the area of fashion and fashion media, by an examination of the launch of Vogue in China in 2007.

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7 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 12645
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 John Hartley and Lucy Montgomery
Deposited On: 17 Apr 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:56

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