Story-centered Marketing: A Communicative Turn

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 1-1-2005


Campus Only

Submission Type


Degree Name



Communication and Rhetorical Studies


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Ronald C. Arnett

Committee Member

Clark Edwards

Committee Member

Janie Harden Fritz

Committee Member

F. Byron Nahser


communication, embedded, integration, marketing, marketing communication, story


The purpose of this work is to advance a communicative turn in marketing. Based on the discontents with marketing expressed from within and outside of the profession, a communicative turn builds on the advancements of the field through integration to re-vision marketing's theory and practice with greater attention to its role in the storied nature of human life. A communicative turn attends to the interplay of marketing and the marketplace as constituted in and through communication. It assumes practices as necessary for implementing ideas while focusing on marketing as an increasingly influential aspect of how people connect, find a sense of belongingness, and story their life.

The recommended approach is, therefore, not another marketing process. Instead, this work presents a communicative philosophy of marketing grounded in three philosophical presuppositions: (1) Carey's understanding of communication as culture, (2) Ricoeur's belief that the search for concordance is an unavoidable aspect of all communicative life (discourse and action), and (3) Schrag's theory of communicative praxis as one way to frame an approach to marketing that connects it to a wider heuristic understanding of the relationship between the communicative life of goods, the role of the marketer, and the communities of conversation to which marketing is directed. Together, these philosophical presuppositions frame the background for a story-centered approach to marketing as an act of purposeful communicative engagement.





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