Communication and Rhetorical Studies
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Craig T. Maier
Althusser, Branding, Ideology, Communication, Interpellation
A surge in the role of branding within marketing practices has influenced an
industry transformation. A review of recent literature suggests that brand and the branding process have become integral in sustaining and amplifying organizations. This has been particularly influenced by Integrated Marketing Communication’s (IMC) espousal of being a consumer-driven process. As such, this project seeks to explore the current state of branding practices through the vision of French Marxist philosopher, Louis Althusser. Althusser’s philosophy inspects the human capacity to exercise autonomous decision-making and highlights the influence of social structures upon individuals. Through the Althusserian constructs of ideology and interpellation, as well as Althusser’s stance as an anti-humanist, the question guiding this process is how can Althusser’s agenda of ideological interpellation as a philosophy of communication help us to reinterpret branding as a societal process that systematically structures the lifeworld? While much of Althusser’s work has been dismissed and overlooked, key metaphors remain relevant and expository of current marketing shortcomings. Within this project, Althusser will be used to make the claim that there are gaps that exist within marketing discourse that must be addressed in order to improve those conditions affecting the relationship between the consumer and the brand.
Lo Castro, J. (2017). "Can You Hail Me Now?": Brand, Identity, and Althusserian Ideological Interpellation (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/217
Available for download on Monday, December 10, 2018