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The role of the state in consumer culture: the case of Operation Vin in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5447-3661
Number of Authors: 22024 (English)In: Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, ISSN 1755-750X, E-ISSN 1755-7518, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 125-152Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - This paper aims to explore the market dynamics that led to a shift in Swedish consumers' alcohol preferences from schnapps to wine. Specifically, the study investigates how the Swedish state influenced consumers' alcohol habits and highlights the role of governance units in shaping consumer culture. Design/methodology/approach - The study reconstructs the historical memory of the Operation Vin, a strategic marketing campaign implemented by Systembolaget from 1957 to 1985, to conceptualize the past and to uncover the structures and change dynamics of the Swedish alcohol market system. Following this approach, the research contrasts historical data from multiple sources with market-oriented ethnographical data and traces the trajectory of how the consumption of alcohol has changed as a consequence of the Swedish state's initiatives. Findings - The study offers two contributions to the literature in marketing and consumption history. Firstly, it uncovers the lines of actions (framing and settlement) involved in creating marketing systems and shaping consumer culture. Secondly, it explores how the state strategically leveraged its social skills to promote a specific type of alcohol consumption (wine) and to induce the Swedish consumer to cooperate in the refashioning of the alcohol field. Social implications - The authors aspire for this paper to offer valuable insights into how a state, as a governance entity, can shape consumer culture through a strategic blend of various regulatory measures, both gentle and forceful. The authors emphasize the pivotal role of social skills in fostering cooperation during the implementation of a new alcohol policy. Originality/value - This paper provides valuable insights into the role of the Swedish state in shaping consumer culture and explores the strategic actions and marketing systems involved, contributing to marketing and consumption history literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2024. Vol. 16, no 2, p. 125-152
Keywords [en]
State intervention, Strategic action field, Social skills, Consumer culture, Alcohol consumption
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-224679DOI: 10.1108/JHRM-05-2023-0018ISI: 001109477800001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85178068480OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-224679DiVA, id: diva2:1821123
Available from: 2023-12-19 Created: 2023-12-19 Last updated: 2024-06-11

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Östberg, Jacob

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