Medical Chic: the Consumption of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Urban China

Through semiotic analysis of print advertisements and depth-interviews, we examined the construction of cosmopolitanism in urban China. In particular, we seek to understand how Chinese consumers appropriate and negotiate the tensions between two conflicting medical cultures between Western biomedicine and traditional Chinese medicine to construe a cosmopolitan lifestyle. We discussed how traditional Chinese medicine is transformed by Western biomedical knowledge in contemporary China. Our preliminary findings have showed that traditional Chinese medicine has been exoticized and then used to construct a cosmopolitan identity by the emerging middle class consumers in urban China.


Xin Zhao and Jeff Wang (2011) ,"Medical Chic: the Consumption of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Urban China", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 565-566.


Xin Zhao, University of Hawaii, USA
Jeff Wang, City University of Hong Kong


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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