Marketing Death: Culture and the Making of a Life Insurance Market in China by Cheris Shun-ching ChanMarketing Death: Culture and the Making of a Life Insurance Market in China by Cheris Shun-ching Chan

Marketing Death: Culture and the Making of a Life Insurance Market in China

byCheris Shun-ching Chan

Hardcover | April 5, 2012

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How do companies sell life insurance in a country where death is a taboo subject? In Marketing Death, Cheris S.C. Chan explores both how and why the life insurance industry has managed to emerge in China, a country with an entrenched cultural stigma against the very topic of death. Drawing onextensive ethnographic fieldwork and engaging with current scholarship, Chan explores the processes and micro-politics by which foreign and domestic companies have negotiated local cultural resistance and created a market in spite of it. In doing so, she asks larger questions about how differentsocieties view and value life and death, what is meant by "cultural values," how they interact with a set of fragmented cultural tools to compellingly organize individuals' practical daily lives, and how the market is influenced by them. Chan tells a story not just of the emergence of the Chineselife insurance industry, but of the dynamic relationships between culture and markets, local norms and foreign influences in one of the world's fastest-growing economies.Marketing Death is the first book to offer a sociological analysis of the emergence of a life insurance market outside of a European or American context. Through in-depth study of the expansion of an industry whose unique "product" - gambling on one's own sudden death - has always met with a measureof resistance, but never more so than in China, Chan provides a new lens for understanding how modern capitalist enterprises are diffused to regions with disparate cultural traditions.
Cheris Shun-ching Chan is associate professor of sociology at the University of Hong Kong. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. Her writings have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, British Journal of Sociology, Theory and Society, International Sociology, and The China Quarterly, and have won se...
Title:Marketing Death: Culture and the Making of a Life Insurance Market in ChinaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 6.5 × 9.29 × 1.18 inPublished:April 5, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195394070

ISBN - 13:9780195394078

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations and GlossaryIntroduction1. Is China an Inviting Place for Life Insurance? Societal Conditions, the Market, and Remaining Puzzles2. Defining Life Insurance and Product Development: Divergent Institutional Logics3. Manufacturing Sales Agents: Cultural Capital and Management Strategies4. Making Transactions: Selling Strategies and Sales Discourses5. Buying Life Insurance: Multiple Motives but Consistent Preferences6. How Culture Matters: Culture, Market, and GlobalizationAppendix A: MethodsAppendix B: A List of Life Insurance Companies in ChinaNotesBibliographyIndex