From Starbucks to Carrefour: Consumer Boycotts, Nationalism and Taste in Contemporary China

Pál Nyíri


Abstract


In the 2000s, China has witnessed a series of consumer boycott campaigns, some of which received nationwide publicity, and one of which, the campaign against the French discounter chain Carrefour in 2008, produced street pickets. The motivation behind these campaigns has been largely nationalistic, as the brands or companies targeted were deemed to offend China. This article sketches the dynamics of consumer boycotts and asks whether, beyond being a vehicle of nationalism, the emerging politics of consumption is also becoming a tool of expressing taste.

Keywords


China; nationalism; consumption; Internet; boycotts; social movements; taste