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Much of extant research in marketing has been critiqued for Eurocentrism, and exclusion of non-Western perspectives and experiences (Ellis et al. 2011, Eckhardt, Dholakia, and Varman 2013). Such a limited worldview has resulted in the knowledge and practices rooted in the majority world or large non-Western settings such as Africa, Asia, and South/Central America being overlooked (Varman and Saha 2009, Varman and Sreekumar 2015). Even in an ostensibly “globalized” domain such as international marketing, the West remains the key referent against which “the Rest” are compared and understood. Moreover, as Türkdoğan (2019) points out, even with the increasing recognition of the variegated consumption and marketing practices in the majority world, knowledge production, and conceptualization continue to be driven by Western assumptions (see also Alcadipani 2017). In such a context, it becomes important for scholars to move beyond a monochromatic Western lens, and oversimplified dichotomies such as East and West, to contextualize and particularize knowledge creation and practices.

While recent globalization has resulted in greater intercultural contact, and an increased, albeit yet limited understanding of non-Western cultures, it has also led to the spread of neoliberalism. The neoliberal ideology has proven remarkably hardy, and has not only survived, but flourished in the aftermath of the financial crises and recession in the first decade of the 21st century. Crouch (2011) attributes the resilience of neoliberalism to the enormous power wielded by corporations, and places a mild hope on civil society and social movements acting as countervailing forces on such power. The onward march of neoliberalism has exacerbated Bauman’s (2000) somewhat dystopian vision of liquidity, accompanied by consumer precarity and helplessness. An unabashedly neoliberal thinking has infiltrated even academic institutions, leading to identity crises and insecurity (Knights and Clarke 2014). On the other hand, somewhat paradoxically, nativism appears to be on the rise in countries across the world, with populist governments pandering to at times xenophobic tendencies. Neoliberalism seamlessly glides over this apparent contradiction of a globalized world order administered through populist governments. Taking social Darwinism to the extreme, neoliberal world views force consumers to be in perpetual competition with each other, and lead precarious existences, while corporations can continue amassing wealth and power (see Verhaeghe 2014). Marketing and its allied functions have often served to buttress some of these problematic ideologies. For example, Eckhardt, Varman, and Dholakia (2019) point out that marketing concepts such as branding, customer relationship management, and consumer intimacy serve to function as a soft veneer that masks the hard financial and economic interests driven by corporations. Such masking perpetuates problematic relationships between marketers, corporations, and consumers.

 There is an urgent need to critique and deconstruct the key nodal points of neoliberal discourse centered around markets, marketing, growth, and development. Scholarship has to move beyond its oversimplified dichotomies and exclusionary tendencies for any effective critique of neoliberalism to emerge. Specifically, scholars in marketing need to engage with some important questions: Whose purposes do marketing and markets serve? What do we mean when we talk and write on issues such as growth and development? How are power relations embedded in markets, growth and development discourse? As academics, how can we strive for marketing and growth that benefits us all? How can we contextualize marketing knowledge and understanding, and ensure that marketing discourse does not get homogenized and blindsided by focusing on specific geographies such as the West?

To this end, we invite paper submissions under the following tracks:

                                                            1. Management education under neoliberalism 

                                                            2. Hegemony of markets and consumer resistance 

                                                            3. Marketization and development 

                                                            4. Poverty, markets, and vulnerable consumers 

                                                            5. The connected era, consumer subjectivity, and well being 

                                                            6. Rethinking consumer culture and development 

                                                            7. Alternative imaginations of markets and development  

                                                            8. Decolonization and the Global South 

                                                            9. Online and Physical Retailing in Emerging Economies: Promises, Patterns and Polemics 

                                                           10. Enacting resilience towards sustainable outcomes  

                                                            11. Climate change, markets, and consumption  

                                                            12. Will be updated soon  

                                                            13. Organizing radically: Alternatives to corporate capitalism 

                                                            14. Gender, markets, and the Global South  

                                                            15. Political economy of markets and social responsibility

                                                            16. Historical perspectives on markets and development


Alcadipani, Rafael (2017), “Reclaiming Sociological Reduction: Analyzing the Circulation of Management Education in the Periphery,” Management Learning, 48 (5), 535-51.

Bauman, Zygmunt (2000), Liquid Modernity. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. 

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Crouch, Colin (2011), The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. 

Eckhardt, Giana, Dholakia, Nikhilesh, and Rohit Varman (2013), “Ideology for the 10 Billion: Introduction to Globalization of Marketing Ideology”, Journal of Macromarketing, 33 (1), 7-12.

Eckhardt, Giana, Varman, Rohit and Nikhilesh Dholakia (2019), “Ideology and Critical Marketing Studies,” in The Routledge Companion to Critical Marketing. Mark Tadajewski, Matthew Higgins, Janice Denegri-Knott, and Rohit Varman, eds. Oxon and New York: Routledge, 306-19.

Ellis, Nick, Fitchett, James, Higgins, Matthew, Jack, Gavin, Lim, Ming, Saren, Michael and Mark Tadajewski (2011) Marketing: A Critical Textbook, New Delhi : Sage.

Knights, David and Caroline A. Clarke (2014), “It’s a Bittersweet Symphony, this Life: Fragile Academic Selves and Insecure Identities at Work,” Organization Studies, 35 (3), 335-57.

Türkdoğan, Özlem Sandıkcı (2019), “Non-Western Cultures and Critical Marketing,’ in The Routledge Companion to Critical Marketing. Mark Tadajewski, Matthew Higgins, Janice Denegri-Knott, and Rohit Varman, eds. Oxon and New York: Routledge, 319-37.

Varman, Rohit and Biswatosh Saha (2009), “Disciplining the Discipline: Understanding Postcolonial Epistemic Ideology in Marketing,” Journal of Marketing Management, 25(7), 811-24.

Varman, Rohit and Hari Sreekumar (2015), “Locating the Past in its Silence: History and Marketing Theory in India,” Journal of Historical Research in Marketing,7 (2), 272-79.

Verhaeghe, Paul (2014), What about Me? The Struggle for Identity in a Market-Based Society. Jane-Headley Prole trans., Victoria, Australia: Scribe Publ