Lafite in China

SMITH MAGUIRE, Jennifer and LIM, Ming (2015). Lafite in China. Journal of Macromarketing, 35 (2), 229-242.

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Increased economic power has positioned China within the global elite, yet China’s legitimacy remains low with regard to hierarchies of taste. Drawing from Bourdieu and Elias, this article offers an account of the global dynamics of status contests, and the role played by cultural capital and notions of civility and vulgarity. Specifically, we examine how U.S., UK, and Chinese media represent Chinese consumption of fine wine, and particularly that of Château Lafite, in the 2000 to 2013 period. Our analysis reveals four major ways in which Chinese fine wine consumption is framed—as vulgar, popular, functional, and discerning—and highlights tensions between Western and Chinese terms of cultural legitimacy. The research uncovers nuanced dimensions to the “East/West” divide in terms of the grades of cultural capital, competing logics of valuation, and modes of civility at play. Macromarketing implications of fine wine consumption in a fragmented and complex market are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: publicationstatus: published
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Sciences; Business; Business & Economics; China; cultural capital; status; vulgar consumption; wine; macromarketing; 1505 Marketing; 2103 Historical Studies; 1399 Other Education; Marketing
Identification Number:
Page Range: 229-242
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2019 11:04
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 03:40

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