The Chinese Marketplace

The Chinese Marketplace: Globalization and Local Transformations

Lecturer:Prof. dr. PAN Tianshu

Credits:3 Fudan University credits, 5 ECTS equivalent

This course addresses several major themes focusing on the dynamics of China’s unprecedented socioeconomic transformations. Topics covered will include the implications of globalization for everyday life in the local contexts, the rise of consumerism in contemporary China, important policies and various emerging markets etc. One important goal of this course is to provide a set of conceptual tools and a new perspective that will hopefully help you better describe and understand the social world around you. In learning this new perspective, I hope that you develop a critical, even “skeptical” view toward superficial explanations of take-for-granted practices by replacing your common sense understandings of interpersonal interactions with an uncommon sense about the links between individual experiences, structural forces and particular marketplaces. 

It is my hope that we can work together as a learning community to explore issues of general interests. Well-documented case studies and business ethnographies will be woven into in-class discussions of these major themes as a way of grounding theory in marketing practices. Course reading is arranged in weekly units around specific thematic issues. Discussions of the case study materials will be accompanied by presentations of the instructor’s research on a range of topics related to the application of anthropological/sociological methods of inquiry to business practices in different field settings.


Week 1    Course Overview 

Week 2 The Validity of “Soft Data” /Why Culture Matters 

Week 3   Quality Growth and Sustainable Development: the Shanghai Story 

Week 4  Understanding Chinese “Entrepreneurialism:” Past as the Prologue 

Week 5 Invited Talk: (Dr. Ding Mei) 

Week 6 Understanding Chinese “Entrepreneurialism:”  Women Holding Up Half the Sky? 

Week7   Consumer Revolution:  Views from the Top 

Week8 Consumer Revolution: Views from the Bottom 

Week 9  Rules and Etiquette: Guanxi and Reciprocal Exchange

Week 10 Invited Talk ( Xingyan Peng)

Week 11 Branding and Marketing: Ethnographic Insights 

Week 12 Field trips 

Weeks 13-15  Group Presentations