China And Westernstyle

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's April 2001

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In this article, we are able to understand the acculturation of the people of Beijing in adopting Western-style shopping. A decade ago, shopping in Beijing was entirely different from how it is currently. Shopping then, consumed a great amount of time, unlike now. The shoppers had to visit various different outdoor markets and neighborhood stores, in order to obtain everything they needed, but now they are able to acquire everything under one roof. Time was consumed by the use of abacuses instead of cash registers and barcode scanners like they have now. The shoppers did not have variety of product brands to choose from, like they have now. Most of the products were domestic brands and the shoppers did not have much variety, but now foreign retailers have spread around China to give the shoppers more assortments to choose from. Since the there were no variety to, there was always a fixed price of products which were high but now, since foreign retailers have settled, the prices became very reasonable.

This article gives us examples of changing material and nonmaterial cultural elements, folkways and mores. In my opinion, when the environment you live in changes, it does not necessarily mean that your nonmaterial cultural elements would change with it. The material cultural elements are easily changed; the writer talks about the new department stores that are built and also about the new suburban housing developments. This is all the change that we are able to see. The only nonmaterial cultural element I came across was that the people changed their way of shopping; the started to go shopping during the weekend or after work. In the past, they did not have a specific time to go shopping. An example of changing mores is that the work places became very strict...