Biopolitical Marketing and Social Media Brand Communities. / Zwick, Detlev; Bradshaw, Alan.

In: Theory, Culture and Society, Vol. 33, No. 5, 01.09.2016, p. 91-115.

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Abstract

This article offers an analysis of marketing as an ideological set of practices that makes cultural interventions designed to infuse social relations with biopolitical injunctions. We examine a contemporary site of heightened attention within marketing: the rise of online communities and the attendant profession of social media marketing managers. We argue that social media marketers disavow a core problem; namely, that the object at stake, the customer community, barely exists. The community therefore functions ideologically. We describe the ideological gymnastics necessary for maintaining momentum behind a practice that barely exists and we ponder why such ideologies are necessary, and what they allow the marketer to do. Working with such concepts as ‘the wild’, ‘communicative capitalism’, and ‘biopolitical marketing’, we explore a genre of popular business literature that proselytizes for online customer communities and we reflect on the broader implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-115
Number of pages25
JournalTheory, Culture and Society
Volume33
Issue number5
Early online date27 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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