Market Research and Socio-Political Consciousness in the Twentieth Century

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose – This paper investigates the case of the eminent British market researcher and social scientist Mark Alexander Abrams (1906 – 1994). Abrams’ career as a researcher spanned the six decades between the late 1920s and the late 1980s, and it bridged the gap between commercial market and consumer research on the one side and governmental social research on the other. By focusing on Abrams’ research strategies and career moves over these six decades, the paper establishes an alternative historical narrative to those that privilege the impact of capitalist market structures on the making of marketing as a professional field and academic discipline in the twentieth century.
Design/methodology/approach – Based on archival research, the paper firstly establishes the biographical details of Abrams’ life and work. Secondly, the paper uses methodological and theoretical tools of historical sociology in order to investigate whether Abram’s biography was indeed typical for
that of an entire generation of British and émigré-American market and consumer researchers. Thirdly, the paper searches for similarities in the biographies of these researchers and points out to what extent the collective biography of this generation harbored a specific socio-political consciousness which thus contributed to the making of modern marketing.
Research limitation/implications – The implications of this research are twofold. The paper provides for the first time a fuller insight into the social-generational and intellectual mechanisms that formed the backdrop to the emergence of modern market research in Britain. Secondly, the paper provides the corner stones of a collective social and intellectual biography of early market researchers. Both steps provide implications which challenge the lack of a meta-narrative of twentieth-century marketing.
Purpose – This paper investigates the case of the eminent British market researcher and social scientist Mark Alexander Abrams (1906 – 1994). Abrams’ career as a researcher spanned the six decades between the late 1920s and the late 1980s, and it bridged the gap between commercial market and consumer research on the one side and governmental social research on the other. By focusing on Abrams’ research strategies and career moves over these six decades, the paper establishes an alternative historical narrative to those that privilege the impact of capitalist market structures on the making of marketing as a professional field and academic discipline in the twentieth century.
Design/methodology/approach – Based on archival research, the paper firstly establishes the biographical details of Abrams’ life and work. Secondly, the paper uses methodological and theoretical tools of historical sociology in order to investigate whether Abram’s biography was indeed typical for
that of an entire generation of British and émigré-American market and consumer researchers. Thirdly, the paper searches for similarities in the biographies of these researchers and points out to what extent the collective biography of this generation harbored a specific socio-political consciousness which thus contributed to the making of modern marketing.
Research limitation/implications – The implications of this research are twofold. The paper provides for the first time a fuller insight into the social-generational and intellectual mechanisms that formed the backdrop to the emergence of modern market research in Britain. Secondly, the paper provides the corner stones of a collective social and intellectual biography of early market researchers. Both steps provide implications which challenge the lack of a meta-narrative of twentieth-century marketing.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationVarieties, Alternatives, and Deviations in Marketing History : Proceedings of the 16th Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing (CHARM)
EditorsLeighann C. Neilson
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
PublisherCHARM Association
Date2013
Pages364-366
StatePublished - 2013
EventThe 16 th Biennial Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing (CHARM) - Frederiksberg, Denmark
Duration: 30 May 20132 Jun 2013
Conference number: 16
http://faculty.quinnipiac.edu/charm

Conference

ConferenceThe 16 th Biennial Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing (CHARM)
Number16
CountryDenmark
CityFrederiksberg
Period30/05/201302/06/2013
SponsorCopenhagen Business School
Internet address

Keywords

    Cite this

    Schwarzkopf, S. (2013). Market Research and Socio-Political Consciousness in the Twentieth Century. In L. C. Neilson (Ed.), Varieties, Alternatives, and Deviations in Marketing History: Proceedings of the 16th Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing (CHARM) (pp. 364-366). Copenhagen : CHARM Association.
    Schwarzkopf, Stefan. / Market Research and Socio-Political Consciousness in the Twentieth Century. Varieties, Alternatives, and Deviations in Marketing History: Proceedings of the 16th Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing (CHARM). editor / Leighann C. Neilson. Copenhagen : CHARM Association, 2013. pp. 364-366
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    keywords = "Market Research, Consumer Research, Marketing History, Consumer Empowerment, Socialism, Biography, Milieu, Generation, Narratives",
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    booktitle = "Varieties, Alternatives, and Deviations in Marketing History",
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    Schwarzkopf, S 2013, Market Research and Socio-Political Consciousness in the Twentieth Century. in LC Neilson (ed.), Varieties, Alternatives, and Deviations in Marketing History: Proceedings of the 16th Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing (CHARM). CHARM Association, Copenhagen , pp. 364-366, Frederiksberg, Denmark, 30/05/2013.

    Market Research and Socio-Political Consciousness in the Twentieth Century. / Schwarzkopf, Stefan.

    Varieties, Alternatives, and Deviations in Marketing History: Proceedings of the 16th Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing (CHARM). ed. / Leighann C. Neilson. Copenhagen : CHARM Association, 2013. p. 364-366.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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    AB - Purpose – This paper investigates the case of the eminent British market researcher and social scientist Mark Alexander Abrams (1906 – 1994). Abrams’ career as a researcher spanned the six decades between the late 1920s and the late 1980s, and it bridged the gap between commercial market and consumer research on the one side and governmental social research on the other. By focusing on Abrams’ research strategies and career moves over these six decades, the paper establishes an alternative historical narrative to those that privilege the impact of capitalist market structures on the making of marketing as a professional field and academic discipline in the twentieth century. Design/methodology/approach – Based on archival research, the paper firstly establishes the biographical details of Abrams’ life and work. Secondly, the paper uses methodological and theoretical tools of historical sociology in order to investigate whether Abram’s biography was indeed typical forthat of an entire generation of British and émigré-American market and consumer researchers. Thirdly, the paper searches for similarities in the biographies of these researchers and points out to what extent the collective biography of this generation harbored a specific socio-political consciousness which thus contributed to the making of modern marketing.Research limitation/implications – The implications of this research are twofold. The paper provides for the first time a fuller insight into the social-generational and intellectual mechanisms that formed the backdrop to the emergence of modern market research in Britain. Secondly, the paper provides the corner stones of a collective social and intellectual biography of early market researchers. Both steps provide implications which challenge the lack of a meta-narrative of twentieth-century marketing.

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    KW - Consumer Research

    KW - Marketing History

    KW - Consumer Empowerment

    KW - Socialism

    KW - Biography

    KW - Milieu

    KW - Generation

    KW - Narratives

    M3 - Article in proceedings

    SP - 364

    EP - 366

    BT - Varieties, Alternatives, and Deviations in Marketing History

    PB - CHARM Association

    CY - Copenhagen

    ER -

    Schwarzkopf S. Market Research and Socio-Political Consciousness in the Twentieth Century. In Neilson LC, editor, Varieties, Alternatives, and Deviations in Marketing History: Proceedings of the 16th Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing (CHARM). Copenhagen : CHARM Association. 2013. p. 364-366.