To me as a consumer sociologist, the “Better Marketing for a Better World” theme raises two important opportunities – a practical and a critical one.
Practically, through this theme, marketing scholars can earn a seat at the table with influential organizations such as the IMF, World Bank, the United Nations, or the World Economic Forum, – all bodies that spend considerable resources trying to solve problems to make the world better.
With focuses on poverty, global warming, inequality, and chronic illness, there is considerable interest outside of business schools in how consumption can make the world better. If and when we do this kind of work, we will find a lot of actors in these institutions that would be interested in dialoguing and working with us.
Marketing researchers can and should be a part of a much larger conversation in this way. And this special issue is an important door opener.
From a critical perspective, marketing scholars should also question why these and other powerful institutions are so interested marketing-level solutions to world problems in the first place.
As such, the “Better Marketing for a Better World” theme is also an opportunity to not only serve but also question the neoliberal agenda and to explore how the idea that empowering better consumer choices will ultimately make the world a better place might harbor limitations.
Scholars interested in contributing to a better marketing for a better world should also critically examine what social and economic biases and inequalities may be sustained when longstanding definitions of “consumer,” “choice,” “nature,” or “history” are inscribed in institutional thought and practice, and how firms, policy makers, and consumers could re-imagine these definitions.Download Presentation
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