Activity: Talk or presentation › Lecture and oral contribution
Following on from the seminar on marketing and political ideology, this seminar aims at discovering an as yet hidden connection between specifically protestant religious sentiments on the one hand, and the modernization of marketing management since 1900 on the other hand. This hidden connection I call the ‘theopolitics of markets’. It can be shown that virtually all early American marketing management thinkers and marketing practitioners, including opinion pollsters and market researchers, had strong roots in Protestant sects (Wesleyan Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians). Key figures in the American movement to create wider acceptance for marketing as a ‘science’, and for advertising as a modern communication means, were either lay preachers themselves or sons of Protestant and/or Reformed preachers from the mid-West. Historical research of this kind provides us with key insights into possible explanations for why a customer-driven market ideology shares so many characteristics of a secular religion.