gCON 2019

Xu Xinyue

Faculty of Art and Social Science, National University of Singapore/Master of Art-Communication and New Media
College of Arts and Media, Tongji University/Bachelor of Broadcasting and Communications
College of Media and Communications,University of Westminster/Semester abroad

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Talks

New Return and Taste Cultivation: New Millennial Work Ethic and Neo-entrepreneurship in Chinese Coffee Industry

Since specialty coffee wave appeared in the coffee commodity chain around the 1960s as a reaction against industrial standardization of the transnational corporates (Talbot. J.M, 2004), an abundance of coffee producers, intermediaries, and consumers accordingly improve their tastes and requirements to discovery different flavors of coffee beans by creating an affected body. In this way, making a cup of coffee is not a simple action but has become a cultural practice embedded with initiatives and creativity. As the barista serves as a bridge connecting coffee to consumers. They choose to be trained intentionally to have a sensible body and to acquire a practical skill before entering such a career with great passion and love towards coffee. However, lots of researches have turned to focus on coffee growers and consumers, trying to analyze how these actors determine the coffee industry (Bookman, 2013, 2014; Shih & Chang, 2010; Talbot, 2004; West, 2012). Limited researches have been done to deconstruct coffee economy under the structure of capitalism with Chinese characteristics (Huang, 2010) facing the emergence of precarious economy and new millennials in China’s market from the perspective of baristas. This study is going to analyze what it means to start a business in specialty coffee in China amongst new millennials, how coffee people transform this intangible capital into entrepreneurship capital and cultural capital and how these groups of coffee people epitomize capitalism socioeconomic structure with Chinese characteristics.