Dr Wei-Fen Chen

Lecturer in Marketing

Wei Fen Chen Profile

School/Department: Business, School of



Prior to joining the University of Leicester School of Business in 2019 as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Marketing, I conducted my post-doctoral research in Hong Kong, affiliated with The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2018-2019) and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2016-2018). I have been a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) since 2020. 

Originally from Taiwan, I have professional experiences in both private and public sectors before pursuing my PhD degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011-2016) as a Fulbright grantee. 


My research sits at the intersection of social inequality, strategic communication, and consumer culture in the contemporary society. Specifically, I study how consumers’ subjective experiences and evaluations about social inequality are related to well-being, ethics, and sustainability either at the personal level or in the market. I also study how these insights into consumer behaviour and consumer culture inform the design and practice of advertising or marketing strategies. Empirically I embrace interdisciplinary and multi-methods research design, in which I often collaborate with scholars from diverse academic backgrounds and countries.


Journal articles

Wei-Fen Chen and Jingshi (Joyce) Liu (2023). When Less is More: Understanding Consumers' Responses to Minimalist Appeals. Psychology & Marketing, available at [ABS-3; SSCI; IF: 6.700]

Tianran Wang, Wei-Fen Chen, Xue Wang, and Xiucheng Fan (2023). Smartphone Use Increases the Likelihood of Making Short-sighted Financial Decisions. Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, 17, available at [ABS-1; SSCI; IF: 1.878]

Xue Wang, Wei-Fen Chen, Ying-yi Hong, and Zhansheng Chen (2022). Perceiving High Social Mobility Breeds Materialism: The Mediating Role of Socioeconomic Status Uncertainty. Journal of Business Research139, 629-638. [ABS-3; SSCI; IF: 7.550]

Wei-Fen Chen and Michelle R. Nelson (2020). Champagne Taste, Beer Budget—The New Poor’s Incongruent Capital and Consumption. Journal of Consumer Culture, 20 (1), 23-42. [SSCI; IF: 4.196]

Wei-Fen Chen, Xue Wang, Haiyan Gao, and Ying-yi Hong (2019). Understanding Consumer Ethics in China’s Demographic Shift and Social Reforms. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 31 (3), 627-646. [ABS-1; SSCI; IF: 3.979]

Wei-Fen Chen and Tin-yuet Ting (2019). Contesting Shopping Tourism: Neoliberal Consumptionscapes and Conflicts in Host Societies. Tourism Culture & Communication, 19 (2), 155-160. [ABS-1]

Wei-Fen Chen (2018). The Perceived Cosmopolitan Consumption of Globally Mobile Young Consumers from China. Young Consumers, 19 (4), 450-464. [ABS-1]

Wei-Fen Chen (2014). Proud Stigma: The Domestic Narrative of a Family as Political Criminal Descendants. Qualitative Inquiry, 20 (3), 283-287. [SSCI; IF: 4.716]

Book chapters

Tin-yuet Ting and Wei-Fen Chen (2021). Embattled Consumptionscape of Tourism: Networked Urban Contention against Inbound Tourist Shoppers in Hong Kong, in the edited book The Power of New Urban Tourism: Policies, Representations and Contestations published by Routledge.

Conference proceedings

Wei-Fen Chen, Xue Wang, and Ying-yi Hong (2020). What to Buy When the American Dream Fails? Understanding the Taste of Downwardly Mobile Consumers. ACR North American Advances, 48, 1188.

Wei-Fen Chen (2017). The Social Mobility Perception of Chinese International Students in the U.S. The Proceedings of the 2017 Asian Conference on Media & Mass Communication. ISSN: 2186-5906

Book reviews

Wei-Fen Chen (2018). Review of The Myth of the Age of Entitlement: Millennials, Austerity, and Hope, by James Cairns. Journal of Consumer Culture, 19 (2), 289-292. [SSCI; IF: 4.196]

Briefs and reports

Wei-Fen Chen, Xue Wang, and Ying-yi Hong (March 2019). Understanding Emerging Market Consumers through the Lens of Social Mobility. HKUST Thought Leadership Briefs No.25, available at

Wei-Fen Chen (October 2017). Understanding the Globally-Mobile, Young Consumers from the Emerging Markets. HKUST Thought Leadership Briefs No.19, available at


I look forward to working with PhD students who may need support in qualitative research methods and have research interests in the following areas that intersect with contemporary consumer culture:

1. Social inequality

2. Minimalism

3. Advertising 

4 Media and marketing communication


Since I joined the University in 2019 I have contributed to the following modules—

1 Postgraduate level (on-campus and/or distance learning):

Consumers Brands & Communications (MSc Marketing)

Marketing Management (MSc Management)

Advanced Issues in Marketing (MSc Marketing)

  Dissertation supervision (MSc Marketing)

2 Undergraduate level (on-campus and/or distance learning):

Consumer Behaviour

  Dissertation supervision

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