Critical Marketing Perspectives
Essex Business School
Autumn & Spring
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 26 March 2021
20 January 2020
Requisites for this module
In the current brand-dominated and globalised world of business and management, saturated with advertisements, a critical understanding of marketing activities and how they affect businesses and individuals is a requirement for a general management and marketing career as well as for civic participation in contemporary society.
This module builds upon students' existing understanding of marketing by considering contemporary issues that are not normally taught and thought about in connection to the marketing management field. Therefore, an advanced understanding of marketing in its contemporary setting will be aimed at.
Today, marketing is arguably part of everyday life and it is embedded in all spheres of society. Besides its normal corporate function of selling products and services to consumers, marketing processes can be observed in wider civil society, such as governments, NGOs, charities and social movements. Thus, one can talk about marketing as a domain, rather than simply as a corporate function.
This module will discuss a variety of issues that show how marketing can be understood in such terms in a range of different, contemporary settings. It will introduce its participants to a range of conceptual and theoretical resources to critically examine the role of marketing in society, and to understand how marketing is brought into being both as a corporate function, as well as a social phenomenon.
The module has been designed to:
1. Provide an understanding of marketing as a historical discourse that is contested in a variety of ways.
2. Provide an insight into contemporary issues facing marketing and enable students to engage with and critique these.
3. Engage students in critical analysis of marketing discourses and contemporary marketing issues.
On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
1. Understand marketing as a discourse that is embedded and reproduced in a variety of different spheres of society.
2. Engage with a variety of contemporary issues of marketing and apply a critical understanding of marketing to everyday life.
3. Understand the historical emergence of the marketing discourse.
4. Critically analyse, using appropriate marketing and social science concepts and theories, marketing discourses and practices in contemporary society.
5. Through class discussion, reading, participation and assessment develop your abilities to engage in critical analysis of marketing discourses and contemporary marketing issues, and develop an awareness of your own role and position within them.
Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)
During this module you will develop:
1. Critical thinking skills through coursework assignment and group discussions around contemporary marketing issues and the nature of marketing in society.
2. Argumentation skills as you present your thoughts and ideas in essays.
3. Analytical skills as you connect academic theories and concepts to contemporary marketing issues.
No additional information available.
The module will be delivered in weekly two-hour sessions. This will enable the module to include both formal lecture sections as well as related group work, discussion and consultation.
- Ellis, Nick. (2011) Marketing: a critical textbook, London: SAGE.
- Schroeder, Jonathan E.; Zwick, Detlev. (2004-03) 'Mirrors of Masculinity: Representation and Identity in Advertising Images', in Consumption Markets & Culture. vol. 7 (1) , pp.21-52
- Gabriel, Yiannis. (2004) Myths, stories, and organizations: premodern narratives for our times, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Christian Jantzen; James Fitchett; Per Østergaard; Mikael Vetner. (2012) 'Just for fun? The emotional regime of experiential consumption', in Marketing Theory. vol. 12 (2) , pp.137-154
- Cherrier, Hélène; Murray, Jeff B. (2004-06) 'The Sociology of Consumption: The Hidden Facet of Marketing', in Journal of Marketing Management. vol. 20 (5-6) , pp.509-525
- Anderson, Stephanie; Hamilton, Kathy; Tonner, Andrea. (2016-09) 'Social labour', in Marketing Theory. vol. 16 (3) , pp.383-400
- Zakia, Richard D.; Nadin, Mihai. (1987) 'Semiotics, advertising and marketing', in Journal of consumer marketing. vol. 4 (2) , pp.5-12
- Gabriel, Yiannis. (2000) Storytelling in organizations: facts, fictions, and fantasies, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Featherstone, Mike. (2007) Consumer culture and postmodernism, Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.
- Halnon, Karen Bettez; Cohen, Saundra. (2006-03) 'Muscles, Motorcycles and Tattoos', in Journal of Consumer Culture. vol. 6 (1) , pp.33-56
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Stephen Murphy, email: email@example.com.
Stephen Murphy, Louise Nash
Mr Ben Lowe
University of Kent
Professor of Marketing
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.
* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.
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