Editorial to Asian Consumer and Family Economics Association (ACFEA) 2011
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The articles for this Special Issue of the Journal of Family and Economic Issues were solicited from presenters at the Ninth Biennial Meeting of the Asian Consumer and Family Economics Association (ACFEA), held in Seoul, S. Korea in June of 2011.
ACFEA, launched in 1995, brings together scholars who share a common interest in the development and dissemination of research on family and consumer issues, with an Asian flavor. Inspiration for the creation of ACFEA came from a session at an annual meeting of the 1994 American Council of Consumer Interests (ACCI) that focused on the diverse issues facing Asian families and consumers. Out of this session came a suggestion to convene a meeting in Asia dedicated to those issues, and thanks largely to the efforts of Malaysian scholars, this took place in Shah Alam, Malaysia in 1995. ACFEA has no official relationship to ACCI however.
Following cooperative protocols set up at the 1995 ACFEA Meeting, the Association has met every 2 years since, each time at a location within the Northern Pacific Rim. Countries that have hosted the meetings include Malaysia, Mainland China, Taiwan, S. Korea, and the USA. There are usually no specific themes to the meetings, except for the notion that there will be an Asian content and/or author involved in the presentations.
The ACFEA meetings have had a strong record of fostering cooperation among scholars from different countries and institutions who are interested in Asian family and consumer issues. This is reflected in the affiliations of the contributors to this issue, and to the cross-cultural nature of some of the articles. The ACFEA meetings have also bolstered interest in family and consumer issues within the countries represented by attendees. This is especially the case in Malaysia, where the Malaysian Association of Family and Consumer Economics (which has its own journal) was an offshoot of the inaugural ACFEA meeting.
In soliciting articles for the Special Issue, we, the guest editors, tried to include presentations that addressed issues of current concern that also complemented each other in some way. We also tried to include consumer issues that are currently prevalent in Asia.
Many Asian countries are front runners in the adoption of Information Technology and two articles in this issue address the issue of technology adoption (Jun and Yeo; Yieh, Chen and Wei). The topic of green consumption has been discussed widely in Asia, both by academics and policy makers. This concern is reflected in the topics addressed in the article by Kim et al. China is an Asian market which is experiencing a fast growth both in terms of quantity and quality. The article by Sharpe, Yao and Lao looks at credit card adoption in China and identifies its correlates. The country of origin effect is found strongly in Asian countries, and the article by Chern and Lin deals with its impact in consumer valuation. Finally, the article by Kim et al. deals with an Asian consumer issue from a different angle, by addressing the experience of Asian immigrants in the U.S.
A highlight of the ACFEA meetings is the Country Reports session. This usually is the concluding session, wherein delegates from each country give an update on research and consumer issues facing their country. In this Special Issue we have included as a research note the very informative Country Report of the Malaysian delegate (Amin et al.). This report gives an insight not only into the issues facing consumers in Malaysia, but also the kind of environment facing family and consumer researchers in the region.
The Ninth Biennial Conference of ACFEA was held in Seoul National University, Korea. On behalf of the members, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Jung Sung Yeo, the chair of the organizing committee, for a successful and congenial meeting. The next ACFEA conference will be in Beijing, China in 2013, where we hope to see as many colleagues as possible.
Finally, we would like to express our thanks to Dr. Jing Jian Xiao, the former editor of JFEI for proposing this special issue, and also to Dr. Elizabeth Dolan, the current editor, for all her support and hard work.