Marketization: Exploring the Geographic Expansion of Market Ideology



In this chapter, we define marketization as the promotion of market ideologies and the expansion of the market into areas traditionally beyond its purview. We track its intellectual roots to the writings of Adam Smith, linking these with the concepts of American Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny. The narrative continues via the scholarly outpourings of the German Historical School (GHS) whose work counterpointed Smith’s opinion that markets were the most efficient mechanisms for distribution. By contrast, the GHS stressed the role of state intervention in the market. We subsequently examine the economic, cultural and geopolitical turbulence between 1930 and 1970, engaging with the Cold War climate and the articulation of Modernization Theory. Reference is also made to the promotion of social marketing and its connections to structural adjustment programmes. This leads us to scrutinize the enrolment of human beings as cogs in ongoing neoliberal expansion. Finally, we explore the question of how we arrived at the point where people have become products, engaging with issues of subjectivity, self-discipline and Erich Fromm’s interpretation of a “marketing orientation”. The processes of marketization, we conclude, now reach into everyday life. Even so, there are limits to marketization, as the anti-capitalist and “prepper” movements serve to underline.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of YorkYorkUK
  2. 2.Royal Holloway, University of LondonEghamUK

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