Setting the Marketing Scene: Reality Production in Everyday Marketing Work
Sammanfattning: The aim of this thesis is to offer a contribution to the understanding of marketing work. In orthodox, mainstream marketing management literature, the work of marketing is commonly depicted as a fairly straightforward practice, technical in character, neutral in terms of social values and ideologies, operating within an objective and pre-given world. A counter picture to this idealised view of marketing, this study proposes an argument for conceiving of marketing work, not only as the production of marketing plans, positioning strategies or advertising campaigns, but – above all – as a social and discursive production of marketing reality, as the setting of a marketing scene. The study draws mainly upon ideas stemming from symbolic interactionism, social constructionism and discourse theory. The basic premise, upon which the argument presented in this thesis rests, is that language use is best understood as a social practice, pro-active rather than re-active, constructive sooner than reflective, producing notion of reality, relations and ideas. Observations of three marketing work meetings constitute the empirical material of the study. Two client meetings at an advertising agency, and one meeting between a marketing consultancy firm and a potential client, are subjected to close-up interpretations. Serious attention is then paid to the micro anchored construction of a marketing scene – by means of language use – a scene that renders marketing work conceivable as well as meaningful for marketing practitioners. Furthermore, the rhetorical resources employed in this setting of a marketing scene, here referred to as marketing scene repertoires, are explored in the thesis. It is moreover argued that the meeting participants’ drawing upon these repertoires is to be understood as responses to an overriding socio-cultural environment, a narrative archipelago, in which everyday marketing work has to navigate.
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