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Marketing is definable as an instrument for the conveyance of objects and such into the sphere of the market for purposes of exchange; and commodities are, at least according to the discipline's most cited commoditization theorist, "objects intended for exchange" Appadurai Upon inspection, however, one sees that anthropologists' most prevalent theories of commoditization are ill suited for analysing marketing.
The prevailing macro theory of commoditization takes it to be a passive, historically nonspecific progression rather than an agency-driven process associated with a particular system of provisioning and exchange i.
Thus, Keith Hart refers to commoditization as an "evolutionary tendency. Marketing managers would be taken more as harbingers than bringers or meaningful contributors to commoditization, and commoditization does not relate to any specific time or location.
Advancing an alternative view on commoditization, Appadurai ostensibly differs at least on the matter of agency, since he professes interest in the entrepreneurial and political motivations behind commoditization.
To wit, Appadurai speaks of individuals who "draw Signode industries inc essay things into the zone of commoditization" This transitive use of commoditization, however, does not address the problem of the lack of historical particularity or cultural attribution to the incidence of commoditization.
Appadurai treats commoditization as universal. This omission is intentional. Seeking to correct the exaggerated contrast in which gift and commodity exchange had come to be taken as a categorical distinction between primitive or archaic society after Mauss and capitalist society after MarxAppadurai asserts that commodities are not to be associated solely with the capitalist mode of production.
Appadurai defines commodities as things that are exchanged anywhere, and commoditization is not so much a permanent state of historical being, such as might be indigenous specifically to capitalism, as it is a situation in any sociological time or place in which objects may become commodities.
These may under other circumstances leave the sphere of the market and thereby become, in Kopytoff's expression"decommoditized". This novel approach to the commodity Signode industries inc essay to commoditization has, since its publication in the mids, inspired much fruitful research see Ferguson for a prescient evaluation of The Social Life of Things.
Appadurai's analytical mechanics of commoditization has been particularly useful in the way it renders the motivated movement of objects in and out of "exchangeability" an analysable process that evokes meaningfulness when the interpretive stance of exchangers takes up a position a "regime of value" from one point in an exchange versus another.
These salutary points of Appadurai's thesis not-with-standing, in what follows I will argue that there is cause for retracting the new universalizing theory of the commodity. I argue that both the self-propelling theory of commoditization I have attributed to Hart and Kopytoff, and the universal analytical mechanics I have associated with Appadurai en- genders an ethnographic and consequently a theoretical blind spot.
I will demonstrate that, viewed through these theories of commoditization, it is impossible to assess the contribution of contemporary business corporations to the constitution of culture in the many places where professional management techniques are employed and where manufactured commodities have become entrenched.
The Total Marketed Complex As an initial profile of marketing's role in capitalist cultural economy, one may specify it as the central intelligence and core practice of a system of provisioning within which objects are strategically placed into "the commodity mode of exchange".
Marketing conditionalizes and generalizes the mode for the production of things as commodities. It hews the environments in which exchange takes place. As well, marketing contributes to the stylization of practices associated with the construction of identity through consumption taste, display, concretization of social affiliation, even the expression of metier in terms of sumptuary practices.
It is widely understood that marketing professionals direct their activities in strategic response to the predicament of intense industrial competition. One need not look far to discover the consciousness among marketers 4 that competition, even more than.
Marketing management guru Theodore Levitt for us, expert and infonnant epitomizes, "The essence of competition The search for meaningful distinction is a central part of the marketing effort.
If marketing is seminally about anything, it is about achieving customer-getting distinction by differentiating what you do and how you operate. All else is derivative of that and only that" As Levitt says, the profession- appropriate response to competition and its marketing theoretical correlate, commodity magnetism, described below is to differentiate oneself in respect to one's competitors.
However, the high stakes spurred by competition takes marketers past all thresholds of the market and the product use value, aesthetic or sign valueand into the irnaginational realm of potential customers and the potential of customers.
No cognitive function has been left unexamined by marketing psychologists see Fine and Leopoldno environmental or "atmospheric" factor is left to chance, and no existing or emerging science untapped for its potential to transmute nature into commercial value.
Sometimes with the help of trained anthropologists the realm of culture, too, has been identified as a site for marketing objectification. Marketers differentiate their product offering from that of their competitors principally by acting upon the meaning or identity of the product through branding and promotion.
Marketing techniques aim to do more than merely connect buyers and sellers but to systematically affect the conditions in which needs and wants are to be expressed and experienced in relation to given products and product categories.
This effort at rationalized control coincides with and catalyses, one might venture, a shift within capitalism to be dated at about mid-century, in conjunction with what some have called the "second marketing revolution". In this shift, the once somewhat distinct systems of pro- duction and exchange - manufacturing and sales - coalesce into an effectively vertically integrated system of provisioning.
This system of provisioning encompasses the circum- stances of exchange as well as the identity of the objects of its label and manufacture, that is, commodities. As a system of provisioning, the marketing project is not a conspiratorial one but, as I have elsewhere insisteda co-participation framework for marketers and consumers who share a vision about human needs and about the most expedient manner in which to service them.
However, against the background of the culturally constituted objective to secure needs and wants by means of the market, certain core premises about the relations of individuals to their environment are established mainly via the instrumentality or agency of marketing. The recalcitrant fact of the expansive scope of marketing suggested here, backed by the commonly observable fact of marketing's collective success at generalizing itself globally through the dissemination of both branded commodities and a technique of normal business practice during the past few decades, reveals a considerable crack in contemporary anthropological exchange theory along two dimensions.
First is the tendency for exchange theory to focus on the site of exchange - the face-to-face level interaction anthropologists commonly study - rather than on the factually predominant at-a-distance social constructions that impinge upon commodity exchange transactions.
A theoretic that can admit of no such actor in exchange, Le. In light of a review of several marketing techniques, I will show how this is true for mainstream anthropological exchange theory, which is equipped to classify marketing either as one more irresolute agency in the realm of "brokerist" or mercantile-like exchange or, as enumerated above, as a passive emissary in commoditization.
There is, in short, a working assumption in contemporary exchange theory that the object's value is branded at the site of exchange through local forces of uneven power and expressed and negotiated through "tournaments of value" Appadurai Ritz-Woller was born in Jacksonville, Florida, in —the son of German immigrants and the youngest of four kids.
His father died when he was a teenager, so it was his big brother Alex—ten years his senior—who took on the mentor role in the years ahead. Cooper Industries Inc.
Essay Words | 23 Pages. Cooper Industries Inc. Based on the given information in the case study regarding the acquisition of Nicholson File Company by Cooper Industries, there is no question that Cooper should try to gain control of Nicholson.
May, D. and G. Swartz Signode Industries, Inc, (A), Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.
McCracken, G. Culture and Consumption: New Approaches to the Symbolic Character of Consumer Goods and Activities, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Bassett Furniture Industries Camp Manufacturing Commonwealth Natural Gas purposes Federal a Life Insurance Co. of Va. ITRADER,TAYLOR & CO., Inc." a Public the to pursuant Annual an between Contract Contributions & Administra-Housing City.
(Page 2) the on United , States incentive is wrote in his essay on-' is "There taxes: that every. Signode either have to pass on this burden to customer in the form of price increase or absorb the burden by reducing its margins.
Signodes past experience showed that the introduction of price increases and substitute products like plastic-strapping materials resulted in 10% drop in market share.
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Shall we put up our price Signode Inc- HBS Case Signode Industries Inc (A) Signode Industries Suppose the British economy .