Desire on Fire: a Naturalistic Inquiry of Chinese Death Ritual Consumption

Taking a naturalistic approach, we examined Chinese death ritual consumption. In contemporary China, burning paper replicas of consumer products, ranging from everyday items to luxury goods, has regained popularity with the ascending consumerism in society. It is believed by many Chinese consumers that after burning them, the paper goods could be received and enjoyed by the deceased in the otherworld. Chinese death ritual provides a unique context to explore important theoretical issues regarding the expansion of global consumerism and its impact on society. We also provided evidence that both supported and challenged previous theories of consumer desire, gift-giving, and conspicuous consumption.


Xin Zhao and Russell W. Belk (2007) ,"Desire on Fire: a Naturalistic Inquiry of Chinese Death Ritual Consumption", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Stefania Borghini, Mary Ann McGrath, and Cele Otnes, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 245-245.


Xin Zhao, University of Hawai, USA
Russell W. Belk, York University, Canada


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2007

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