Exploitation and emancipation

Authored by: Bernard Cova , Bernard Paranque

The Routledge Companion to Critical Marketing

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138641402
eBook ISBN: 9781315630526
Adobe ISBN:


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Critical inquiry has emerged in recent years as a practice in the marketing discipline. The theoretical and conceptual foundations of critical thinking are largely to be found in Marxist philosophy. Marketing practices are accordingly interpreted through the dual exploitation/emancipation concept. These are two sides of the same coin and at the edge is alienation. Initially conceived in relation to production activities, this dual concept has been used in consumer research in a somewhat disconnected way. Emancipation was first mobilized to study resistance and escape from the consumption society in the wake of the Frankfurt School. Exploitation was later used – at the beginning of the 21st century – to discuss the blurriness of boundaries between consumption and production. Today, we question the relevance of this dual concept to rethink marketing.

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