Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

An Analysis of Consumer Behavior of College Students Born in the 1990s in China

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

An Analysis of Consumer Behavior of College Students Born in the 1990s in China

Article excerpt

Abstract

As main consumers and trend setters in the future of China, college students bom in the 1990s have gradually stepped onto the historical stage. The consumer behavior of these college students reflects the Chinese young generation's consumer concepts and value orientation to some extent. Through the analysis of this paper, we conclude that the consumer behavior of these college students has some features: their consumer behavior is deeply influenced by the older generation in their families and parents and children's consumer concepts influence each other; the difference between urban and rural areas leads to the obvious difference in these college students' consumption; these college students have obvious dependence on their income sources for consumption and many students are not rational consumers. We try to analyze these features from aspects of society, family education and college education. In the end of this paper, we give some suggestions to guide these college students for their consumption.

Key words: BORN in the 1990s; College students; Consumption

INTRODUCTION

Since September 2008, the first batch of young people bom in the 1990s has started going to colleges in the Chinese mainland. They become gradually independent. After several years of college or university studies, they will become new forces stepping onto the historical stage in China. Compared with consumers bom before them, these students have the typical consumer psychology and consumer behavior, which reflect new characteristics of contemporary college students.

China has 24.681 million college students according to the tenth item (The education, science and technology, and cultural data) of statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China on February 24, 2014. This consumer group not only is a large group of the youth generation but also in the whole Chinese population so it is representative of the level and characteristics of consumers in present time of China from one side.

1. CONSUMER CHARACTERISTICS OF COLLEGE STUDENTS BORN IN THE 1990s

First, their consumer behavior is deeply influenced by the older generation in their families. Parents and children's consumer concepts influence each other.

There are strong family ties in China. The relationships among family members mainly depend on the influence of Chinese traditional culture of thousands of years. Because of the influence of the traditional culture and family culture, a Chinese family's relationship between family generations is much closer than Western countries'. Due to different social and culture backgrounds, compared with foreign families, Chinese families with parents bom in the 60s and children bom in the 1990s often experience some special life events which make the relationships between these family generations have "China characteristics". Children of Chinese families either financially or emotionally more depend on their parents than children of Europe or the United States. It makes the intergenerational interaction and communication become more frequent. In addition, there is a higher power distance in China and Chinese people have a special sense to accept hierarchical authority. People bom in the 1990s as a huge consumer group of China society, their consumer concepts must be deeply affected by the traditional culture of China. The majority of students begin to live separately from their parents since entering universities and parents provide them with tuition and living expenses, so these students start to leam using this money freely and they begin to have the true sense of controlling spending. As main consumers and trend setters in the future of China, college students bom in the 1990s have gradually stepped onto the historical stage. The consumer behavior of these college students reflects the Chinese young generation's consumer concepts and value orientation to some extent.

The reform and opening up which began in the 1970s bring a rapid cultural changing in the Chinese society. …

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