Writing in Marketing Practice: Voice and Textual Identity

BATTISTON, Giovanna (2019). Writing in Marketing Practice: Voice and Textual Identity. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00279


The aim of this thesis was to explore the writing experiences of individuals engaged in the marketing of a university. The rationale for doing so was to take a lens to the 'inside reality' (Cook, 2006) of the discipline as social practice and reveal aspects of the backstage work that produces the externally-facing texts that make and monitor the identity of the organisation. From a critical perspective, this is important because it helps to illuminate how market making is shaped by the discursive practices of its actors. A university is an appropriate site for a field study of this nature because the global higher education sector is increasingly subject to a marketisation agenda which works to re-position knowledge production as a commodity and applies the logic and rules of market competition to what previously was primarily part of public sector provision. The thesis is based on the findings from a six-month linguistic ethnographic field study that investigated the experiences of nine marketing practitioners who wrote regularly in their jobs. Linguistic ethnography is an interpretive approach to socio-linguistic research that studies situated practices from the perspective of the actors involved. It is aligned with social constructionism which holds that social realities and identities are created and maintained in communication with others and not in pre-existing structures (Berger & Luckmann, 1967). The study took a cyclical 'talk around texts' (Lillis, 2008) approach to exploring marketing writing as social practice in the relational exchanges between stakeholders. The findings conclude that marketing writing emerges through a dynamic interplay of four textual selves. In view of the humanistic management movement that calls for a re-thinking of business practice, I argue that it is time for a marketing literacy that recognises the relational and responsible aspects of marketing writing, as well as its agentic possibilities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Merchant, Guy [0000-0001-8436-7675]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Guy Merchant
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00279
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2020 14:12
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2023 15:00
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/26112

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