The idea of the present as postmodern is now firmly on the agenda for debate. The postmodern has become a concept to be wrestled with, and such a battle-ground of conflicting opinions, that it can no longer be ignored by marketing theory and practice. But diverse and at times conflicting references to postmodernity and postmodernism are to be found in a growing number of disciplinary fields and across an increasingly broad range of discourses. Consequently, a number of difficulties are encountered in the analysis of modern and postmodern, notably the presence of a constellation of related terms, a lack of specificity associated with the concepts employed, particularly in relation to their historical referents or periodisation, as well as the existence of a number of conceptual distinctions between positive and negative manifestations of respectively modern and postmodern forms (Smart, 1990). However, the social and philosophical changes characterised by the label of ‘postmodern’ are considered as major traits of our times by a growing number of European and North-American marketing practitioners and researchers (Brown, 1993; Firat, 1991a, 1991b and 1992; Hirschman and Holbrook, 1992; Ogilvy, 1990; Venkatesh, 1989 and 1992; see also the special issue of the International Journal of Research in Marketing, vol. 10, 1993, on ‘Postmodernism, Marketing and the Consumer’).
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