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Creating the cautious consumer: Marketing managerialism and bio-power in health consumption
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing. Ersta Sköndal University College, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8057-9865
2015 (English)In: Journal of Macromarketing, ISSN 0276-1467, E-ISSN 1552-6534, Vol. 35, no 4, 435-447 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines the power and potential of marketing in the proliferation of health discourses in society. More specifically, drawing on a Foucauldian bio-political framework, it undertakes a discourse analysis of a commercial weight-loss program and the service marketing managerialism it actualizes, focusing on the interactions between service workers and consumers. The study contributes to recent discussions concerning the governmentality of marketing and its effects on consumer well-being by showing how people are invested in identity work in which the body becomes a site of collective control in consumer culture. The study reveals how service marketing is infused with bio-power, which simultaneously spurs people to lose weight and constructs them as cautious consumers that embody increased levels of self-care, control, anxiety and stress. Finally, it is argued that this continuous creation of bodily distress functions as a key mechanism of the contemporary market economy under neoliberal capitalism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 35, no 4, 435-447 p.
Keyword [en]
critical marketing, service, health consumption, bio-power, the body, macromarketing
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-114099DOI: 10.1177/0276146715571459ISI: 000365257000003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-114099DiVA: diva2:789739
Funder
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius FoundationSwedish Retail and Wholesale Development Council
Available from: 2015-02-20 Created: 2015-02-20 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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