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Break free : building a critique of social marketing theory

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Break free : building a critique of social marketing theory

Dolenko, Michael (1997) Break free : building a critique of social marketing theory. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This study develops a critique of approaches to persuasive social change known as social marketing. The focus is on social marketing's theoretical underpinnings of social change, motivation and media effects, and how these influence the development and implementation of social change communications campaigns. The work critically examines various assumptions present in social marketing writing, including: the idea of social change as a modernist, teleological process; the notion of human behaviour as rationally motivated; the view that consumer products serve only immediate material and psychological needs; and, the conception of communication as a linear process in which media audiences are passive recipients of information that generates predictable cognitive, attitudinal and behavioural effects. To show how theoretical shortcomings influence practice, elements of Health Canada's social marketing campaigns are examined. Theories of motivation and communication with psychological, "culturalist" and anthropological roots are presented as potential alternatives for reforming social marketing theories. The study concludes with an analysis of the institutional settings of Health Canada's social marketing campaigns. This analysis suggests that a complex of administrative factors can help explain the prominence of social marketing approaches to social problems, while simultaneously accounting for some key limitations of the practice.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Dolenko, Michael
Pagination:v, 162 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Communication Studies
Date:1997
Thesis Supervisor(s):Roth, Lorna
ID Code:367
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:11
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:14
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