Social trust and luxury seafood banquets in contemporary Beijing

Fabinyi, Michael, and Liu, Neng (2014) Social trust and luxury seafood banquets in contemporary Beijing. Asian Anthropology, 13 (2). pp. 92-105.

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China is marked by rising levels of consumption, but also high levels of social distrust. This paper offers an empirical study of luxury seafood consumption in banquets in Beijing as a way of understanding perceptions of and responses to a lack of trust in abstract social institutions in Chinese society. We focus on the chronic distrust Chinese people have in the food system and the economic system. Governance of the food system is marked by failures related to food safety and authenticity, while the formal institutions of the economic system are insufficient to provide security in professional contexts. Because people do not have social trust in the rationality and effectiveness of such abstract institutions, they are compelled to generate personal trust. Luxury seafood consumption in banquets is an important component of this process of generating personal trust.

Item ID: 36304
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1683-478X
Funders: Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (ARC CoE Coral Reef Studies), Society in Science
Date Deposited: 20 May 2015 23:35
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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