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Sex And The City: Commodities Of Choice

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the representation in Japanese and Taiwanese fiction of escalating consumerism in the miracle societies. The writings explored in the chapter articulate a direct challenge to the seemingly transparent pleasures of acquisition, and the role these pleasures play in sustaining the region’s miracle economies. These texts are conspicuously wary of the coalition between the state, business interests, and the consuming public that has led to the ascendancy of the consumerist ethic in contemporary East Asia. Resistance to the consumer ethic in fiction from Japan and Taiwan frequently fixes upon the metaphors of the city and sexuality as devices for representing the hidden penury of East Asia’s newly affluent societies. In numerous texts, the city is the place where, and sexuality is frequently the means through which, consumption of an excessive kind is enacted.

Keywords: business interests; contemporary East Asia; Japanese fiction; sexuality; Taiwanese fiction



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