CALL FOR PAPER
Extant research in marketing is Eurocentric and marginalizes non-Western perspectives and experiences (Ellis et al. 2011, Eckhardt, Dholakia, and Varman 2013). A limited worldview has resulted in the marketing knowledge and practices rooted in the majority world (settings such as Africa, Asia, and South/Central America) being under-examined (Varman and Saha 2009, Varman and Sreekumar 2015). Even in an ostensibly “globalized” domain such as international marketing, the West remains the key referent against which “the Rest” are compared and understood. Moreover, as Türkdoğan (2019) points out, even with the increasing recognition of the variegated consumption and marketing practices in the majority world, knowledge production, and conceptualization continue to be driven by Western assumptions (see also Alcadipani 2017). In such a context, it becomes important for scholars to move beyond a monochromatic Western lens, and oversimplified dichotomies such as East and West, to contextualize and particularize knowledge creation and practices.
While globalization has resulted in greater intercultural contact, it has also led to the spread of neoliberalism. The neoliberal ideology has proven remarkably hardy, and has not only survived, but flourished in the aftermath of the financial crises and recession in the first decade of the 21st century. Crouch (2011) attributes the resilience of neoliberalism to the enormous power wielded by corporations, and places a mild hope on civil society and social movements acting as countervailing forces on such power. The onward march of neoliberalism has exacerbated Bauman’s (2000) somewhat dystopian vision of liquidity, accompanied by consumer precarity and helplessness. An unabashedly neoliberal thinking has infiltrated even academic institutions, leading to identity crises and insecurity (see Knights and Clarke 2014). On the other hand, somewhat paradoxically, nativism appears to be on the rise in countries across the world, with populist governments pandering to at times xenophobic tendencies. Neoliberalism seamlessly glides over this apparent contradiction of a globalized world order administered through populist governments. Taking social Darwinism to the extreme, neoliberal world views force consumers to be in perpetual competition with each other, and lead precarious existences, while corporations can continue amassing wealth and power (see Verhaeghe 2014). Marketing and its allied functions have often served to buttress some of these problematic ideologies. For example, Eckhardt, Varman, and Dholakia (2019) point out that marketing concepts such as branding, customer relationship management, and consumer intimacy serve to function as a soft veneer that masks the hard financial and economic interests driven by corporations. Such masking perpetuates problematic relationships among marketers, corporations, and consumers.
There is an urgent need to critique and deconstruct the key nodal points of Eurocentric neoliberal discourse centered around the West, markets, marketing, growth, and development. Scholarship has to move beyond its oversimplified dichotomies and exclusionary tendencies for any effective critique of neoliberalism to emerge. Specifically, scholars in marketing need to engage with some important questions: How are the hierarchies of knowledge in the discipline structured? How do we subvert the existing hierarchies of knowledge to create a more participatory, inclusive, and socially just disciplinary agenda? Whose purposes do marketing and markets serve? What do we mean when we talk and write on issues such as growth and development? How are power relations embedded in markets, growth and development discourse? As academics, how can we strive for marketing and growth that caters to the needs of the most vulnerable sections of the global population? How can we contextualize marketing knowledge and understanding, and ensure that marketing discourse does not get homogenized and blindsided by focusing on specific geographies such as the West?
To this end, we invite paper submissions under the following tracks:
Deadline for paper submissions: 30th November 2021
Notifications to authors of accepted papers: 30th September 2021 onwards
Registration closes: 15 December 2021
Conference dates: 16 to 18 December 2021
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