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About this book

This book critically examines marketization: a phenomenon by which market processes are institutionalized and marketing increasingly pervades all areas of our everyday life. It presents a number of theories, frameworks and empirical studies highlighting how the phenomenon of marketization affects the 21st century consumer. The book also contests the traditional understanding of markets, offering a more comprehensive treatment of marketization and a fresh perspective on the dynamics of markets and the institutions that control everyday consumption practices.

This book is an ideal resource for academics, reflective practitioners and policy-makers interested in formulating appropriate change strategies in the face of the globalization that affects emerging markets so profoundly.

This well-crafted research book is a valuable addition to the sparse literature on theories of marketization. The authors refigure the existing theories more broadly and present compelling evidence and insights into market phenomenon such as marginality, alternative market forms and consumer identity.

Table of Contents


Conceptualizing and Problematizing Marketization


Marketization: Exploring the Geographic Expansion of Market Ideology

In this chapter, we define marketization as the promotion of market ideologies and the expansion of the market into areas traditionally beyond its purview. We track its intellectual roots to the writings of Adam Smith, linking these with the concepts of American Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny. The narrative continues via the scholarly outpourings of the German Historical School (GHS) whose work counterpointed Smith’s opinion that markets were the most efficient mechanisms for distribution. By contrast, the GHS stressed the role of state intervention in the market. We subsequently examine the economic, cultural and geopolitical turbulence between 1930 and 1970, engaging with the Cold War climate and the articulation of Modernization Theory. Reference is also made to the promotion of social marketing and its connections to structural adjustment programmes. This leads us to scrutinize the enrolment of human beings as cogs in ongoing neoliberal expansion. Finally, we explore the question of how we arrived at the point where people have become products, engaging with issues of subjectivity, self-discipline and Erich Fromm’s interpretation of a “marketing orientation”. The processes of marketization, we conclude, now reach into everyday life. Even so, there are limits to marketization, as the anti-capitalist and “prepper” movements serve to underline.
Mark Tadajewski

The Nature of Modern Marketization

This chapter discusses the fundamentals of the historical construction and the resulting nature of the modern market to explore the consequences of marketization for contemporary humanity. I explore the reasons for such consequences and suggest that there is a need to transcend the separation of culture into its domains as well as to further rethink all solutions through an understanding of the complex integrity of culture.
A. Fuat Fırat

Commodification as a Part of Marketization

When marketization of a geographic area or a domain of human behavior occurs, it is almost necessarily accompanied by commodification. In making things saleable or exchangeable, we are saying that they have monetary or non-monetary substitutes. In some cases these things are treated as fungible, that is equivalent to and interchangeable with an identical appearing equivalent. Thus, one person’s labor becomes equivalent with another’s, one bunch of bananas becomes interchangeable with another, and one mass-produced object can be replaced with another identical object. Commodification can make what were once intimate personal or shared family goods into assets exchangeable in the market. It can likewise make what were once freely available public goods like land and natural resources into private goods with prices and ‘Keep Out’ signs. This chapter examines the impacts of commodification.
Russell Belk

Case Studies of Marketization


Exploring the Gift-Giving Rituals of the New Middle-Class Consumers in a Muslim Society

Gift-giving rituals in a Muslim society from a new middle-class consumer perspective create interesting insights for businesses. From a symbolic interactionist perspective, the current study provides valuable findings with the help of the grounded theory. How does the gift-giving ritual proceed? What are the factors that influence the gift-giving process? In an effort to understand the gift-giving behavior in a Muslim society, this study also relates the gift-giving behavior with religiosity. Gift-giver’s income, gift-giver’s identity, recipient’s characteristics, perceived degree of the relationship between the gift-giver and the recipient, religiosity, and childhood memories affect the gift-giving of the new middle-class consumers in Turkey. Symbolic messages represented by the gift are mostly evoking happiness, feeling important, cared, and loved. If the gift is appreciated, the relationship between the gift-giver and the recipient strengthens and thus, gift-giving continues. If the gift is not appreciated, the relationship weakens and gift-giving ends. Furthermore, if the gift-giver is a friend or colleague and the gift is for a birthday or a wedding, reciprocity and obligation become prominent along with face-saving, group-conformity and reciprocal altruistic motivations. Altruism is more salient in giving gifts to the consumer’s family.
Aybegüm Güngördü Belbağ

Marketisation of Climate Change: Applying Chrematistics Framework to Warmth Rationing Issue in New Zealand

Despite being assessed as a successful industry (and business) by stakeholders, the energy market systems in New Zealand fail to satisfy the population’s need for accessible, sustainable, and constant energy. Neither these market systems address problems related to warmth rationing. The government and stakeholders judge the industry based on the industry’s economic efficiency and its capacity for profit-generation. This market system appears to be market-efficient: it turns basic human needs into a steady stream (now simply an electronic record) of commonly accepted currency units valued by investors. However, the system is not well-being-efficient: it capitalises on problems such as warmth rationing, while failing to accomplish its macro-societal role.
Djavlonbek Kadirov

Marketization in Poland: Stories About Changes in Materialist and Humanist Life Values

The process of marketization in Eastern Europe began after the political transformations in 1989. Prior to the free-market introduction, the communist economy structured life in the Eastern block for nearly 50 years. The Soviet-backed governments pushed for equality between farmers, physical workers, and urban intelligentsia through, often forceful, wealth redistribution. Communism placed value on social equality and discouraged wealth accumulation and Western materialism. Still, the system was known for its inefficiency and shortages of products on the market. It was only during the transformation of 1989 that countries like Poland, Czechoslovakia, Eastern Germany, and so on started undergoing marketization. The fall of communism caused a complete shift in daily life and social relations. The changes are preserved in memories and stories of contemporary adults who witnessed the process. This chapter builds on the insights of twenty Polish respondents who lived and worked under both economic systems, in order to investigate whether and how marketization affected life values: Did citizens adopt a more materialist outlook on life after entering capitalism? And did social ties weaken after the fall of communism?
Bartosz G. Żerebecki, Suzanna J. Opree

Tales of Materialism and Sustainable Consumption in a Marketizing Urban India

I bring culturally-rich insight into what it means to be a modern consumer in marketized urban India living on a climatically challenged planet. Using an online panel survey and mixed methods qualitative research, I present a rich and thick account of urban middle-class Indian consumers’ materialism and sustainability consumption experiences as they interact with the marketplace. I use worldviews, materialism, environmental concern, and sustainable consumption buying behavior to explore their collusion and collision navigation within the dominant archetype of economic growth, and its sustainability challenges. Three worldviews emerge representing reflexivity, spirituality and wealth. All have sustainability implications for India. Materialism is embedded among India’s urbanites, reflecting a growth agenda. Environmental concern is subsumed by societal and political problems. Hence, not surprisingly, the sustainability buying of these consumers is largely unaffected by these behavioral theories. India has a turbulent challenge ahead, thus I conclude with my reflexivity and future research ideas.
Janine Dermody

The Spiritual Marketplace in Contemporary Ghana

This chapter introduces and examines the role of spiritual consultants—religious agents who operate in the market as experts of spiritual matters and offer their services to consumers for a fee—in the marketization of religion in Ghana. Spiritual consultants in Ghana and many other African countries include church pastors, traditional priests and Islamic spiritualists (mallams), among others. We pursue answers to the question: what specific services and value do spiritual consultants offer to their consumers in order to authenticate their role as agents of the gods and spirits? Our data, including news media coverage and roadside (outdoor) advertising by these agents, allows for historical anchoring to suggest that unlike the Western religious institution whose adoption of market logics defines its success, spiritual consultants in Ghana succeed because they engage local historical motifs and cultural heritage to their advantage. We seek to extend Robin Horton’s thesis on the shared teleological function between traditional African religion and modern science—to explain, predict and control—to situate these functions as value outcomes in the commercial practice of spiritual consultancy in Ghana. In so doing, we note how the historicized marketization of religion has supported and been supported by the practices of contemporary spiritual consultants and the market in which they operate.
Samuelson Appau, Samuel K. Bonsu

Implications for Human Well-being


Alternative to Marketization of Food and Its Implications for Quality of Life: Evidence from an Emerging Economy

The marketization of emerging economies can facilitate economic development but may do little to advance societal well-being. The food sector of Turkey exemplifies rapid marketization, where economic development has brought large supermarkets through long supply chains, but left consumers feeling disconnected from the food and its producers. This chapter aims to show how an alternative type of market based on strengthened social ties and shared commitments has the potential to improve the overall life satisfaction of consumers in the context of an emerging economy. Shared commitments between market actors are characterized by collective action, congruent values and goals, and concern for the future welfare of others. Measurement-based empirical evidence from the customers of Miss Silk’s Farm, a predominant alternative food network in Turkey, indicates that reconnecting consumers and producers through shared commitments can improve life satisfaction. Public policies and procedures bolster shared commitments as a foundation for an alternative market that can improve well-being in emerging economies.
Forrest Watson, Ahmet Ekici

Within Country Migration, Marketization, and Liquid Identity

Marketization introduces institutional changes that create opportunities to shift the relative importance of public and private sectors in economic life. Due to marketization, rural Chinese began to seek job opportunities in urban China. It is estimated that more than 280 million rural laborers in China have left their villages to find work in cities with the hope of making a better living. This chapter provides an overview of the public policy and market system in China and their impact on migrant workers. It also provides an overview of the marketization context in which the migration occurs before exploring the impact this betwixt and between reality has on the migrant workers as well as the families they leave behind. In addition, it theorizes the migrant workers’ identity during the transition. The paper contributes to consumer culture theory and consumption in emerging societies.
Jie G. Fowler, Rongwei Chu, Aubrey R. Fowler

Toward Sustainable Development for Emerging Economies: Statistical Capacity Indicators in Chile and the Andean Region

The authors examine Chile’s development in the context of countries that comprise the emerging economies of the Andean Region. An adapted version of the Sustainable Society Index (SSI) is used to assess and to compare the countries on dimensions that coincide with the triple-bottom-line of economic, natural-environmental and societal concerns, and to discern and project the sustainability of development in Chile and the Region. The analysis and subsequent interpretations draw on extant data and research to redress social traps; the authors present considerations for the sustainable development of the region and prognoses for consumer and societal wellness. Though some measures of inequality are a concern, findings suggest Chile is well-positioned, and indeed perhaps best positioned in the region, for sustainable development. Notable are Chile’s resource allocations for policies that stimulate economic development and inclusion, lower poverty rates, enhance schooling, facilitate health and well-being, nurture public trust, and foment political stability.
Cristian A. Sepulveda, Clifford J. Shultz, Mark Peterson

Neo-colonial Marketization of “Ethical Tourism”: A Critical Visual Analysis

Volunteer tourism is a form of alternative tourism appealing to individuals who want to ‘make a difference’ whilst travelling. Its growing popularity amongst young consumers is reflective of the marketisation of volunteer tourism, which has progressively professionalised. Although the altruistic and exploitative dimensions of volunteer tourism are widely debated, less attention has been paid to the broader cultural discourses which shape volunteer tourism and are represented in, and circulated through, visual narratives. The present research draws on postcolonial theories to trace the sociohistorical pervasiveness of the neo-colonial gaze in market-mediated relations between the Global North and the Global South. Our critical visual analysis demonstrates how provider-generated and consumer- generated visual representations of volunteer tourism are inflected by four neo-colonial discourses; making a difference, helplessness, sentimentality, and power asymmetry. All four are reproduced by providers and consumers in strikingly similar ways, raising considerations around the ethics of visual representation. However, the Othering of this scopic regime is also challenged by the critical, postcolonial spectator through visual subversion and satire.
Veronika Kadomskaia, Jan Brace-Govan, Angela Gracia B. Cruz

How Far Is Marketization Responsible for the Epidemic Growth of Clinical Depression? A Study in Kolkata, India

It has often been claimed that pharmaceutical companies adopt unethical means to grow the market for antidepressants, with lavish gifts, conference supports, foreign travels for prescribing medicos, as well as institutional corruption by influencing the criteria for diagnosis of mental illnesses. In this paper, we use in-depth interviews using grounded theory approach to explore the issues around marketization of antidepressants in Kolkata, India, seeking a deeper understanding of the factors that have led to the epidemic growth of clinical depression. Initial results show that marketization is not the sole factor responsible for this phenomenon. Socioeconomic infrastructural issues like stigma around mental health, inability to afford psychotherapy, glaring shortage in licensed healthcare professionals along with Bourdieusian power issues that put pharmacotherapy at an advantage over psychotherapy drive the unnecessary over-usage of medicines. We also discuss issues related to prestige hierarchy in medicine and its consequent effect on diagnosis of mental illness. We propose a model based on our understanding of factors that drive over-prescription and undue reliance on antidepressants.
Paromita Goswami, Anindita Chaudhuri
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