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Horizontes Antropológicos

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PINHEIRO-MACHADO, Rosana. 'The confucian ethic and the spirit of capitalism': narratives on morals, harmony, and savings in the condemnation of conspicuous consumption among chinese immigrants overseas.Translated byLetícia Maria Costa da Nóbrega Cesarino. Horiz.antropol. [online]. 2008, vol.4Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0104-7183.

From a reflection on market and consumption changes in contemporary China, this article discusses the Chinese diaspora's role in rediscovering "traditional" values, especially those related to notions of harmony, hard work and savings, based on the religious and philosophic Confucian heritage. If, on one hand, we observe today deep consumerism among the young generations living in China, on the other hand, the denial of conspicuous consumption appears as a distinctive feature among Chinese immigrants living in Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), where they work as importers and distributors of goods made in China. Due to these characteristics, I outline a comparison with the Calvinist ethic as analyzed by Max Weber, drawing approaches and differences between Protestantism and Confucianism regarding conspicuous spending, work ethic and wealth accumulation.

Keywords : China; Chinese diaspora; Confucianism; consumption.

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