Marketing the Soul: from the Ideology of Consumption to Consumer Subjectivity

  • David Knights
  • Andrew Sturdy


It comes as no surprise to recognise that just as the physical sciences facilitated the control over and exploitation of nature for human purposes, so the social sciences have been massively implicated in the exercise of power in the management of populations and individual subjects. Foucault (1973, p. 345) drew our attention to the transition in nineteenth-century Western culture whereupon human beings transformed themselves from being merely the agents of knowledge to also being its object. However, the development of the human sciences was not just about adding another object to the scientific enterprise; the human subjects of its concern were already producing representations of the life, production and language by which their existence was governed. In short, the human sciences have as their object of knowledge beings who themselves have a prior claim to produce such knowledge for themselves in their everyday lives. Theories about human life are, then, second-order constructs or theories relating to everyday first-order theoretical representations (Giddens, 1979a, p. 12, 1984, p. 284; see also Mouzelis, 1993, p. 688).


Financial Institution Market Research Financial Service Market Segmentation Social Transformation 
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© David Knights and Andrew Sturdy 1997

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  • David Knights
  • Andrew Sturdy

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