Reproduction as consumption: unravelling the sociological shaping of reproductive tourism market in China

I. Chieh Michelle Yang, Aminath Shaba Ismail, Juliana Angeline French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Human reproduction is increasingly marketised with technologies that alter the traditional parameters of parenthood and childbirth, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the premises of biological foundationalism. This conceptual paper explores the sociology of markets by conceptualising the emergence of the reproductive tourism market in China as the outcome of institutional work. Drawing on a historical trajectory that extends from the Maoist era to the Reformation and Post-reformation era, we demonstrate how the reproductive tourism market emerges as a result of a combination of historical, political, socio-cultural forces, epitomising a social process of market development. This study demonstrates how technology and the proliferation of consumer culture have transformed parenthood in China into a new form of conspicuous consumption, and addresses a relatively infrequently studied topic in current marketing literature, the nexus of geneticized markets and consumer culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-543
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2022


  • Chinese consumer culture and institutional theory
  • market shaping
  • Reproductive tourism

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