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Parallel universes and disciplinary space: the bifurcation of managerialism and social science in marketing studies

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Abstract:

The field of marketing studies embraces a striking contradiction. On the one hand, it originated in a spirit of critique and dissent which has since been manifest in a rich, diverse and fiercely contested outpouring of marketing scholarship and research. On the other, it is a highly packaged brand with a remarkably uniform identity as a set of universal managerial problem-solving techniques. This paper explores this deep contradiction, positing the notion of parallel universes of disciplinary space, the one characterised by a critical social scientific orientation, the other by a naïve managerial orientation. While such a dialectical figure may lead to some blurring of important distinctions, this paper suggests that an investigation of the historical, political and ideological undercurrents of this bifurcation can contribute significantly to a re-orientation of the disciplinary space of marketing studies.

Keywords: CRITICAL THEORY; MARKETING HISTORY; MARKETING IDEOLOGY; NEO-LIBERALISM

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725709X471541

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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