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Paper info: Who's doing what? Exploring market practices and practitioners


Who's doing what? Exploring market practices and practitioners


Hans Kjellberg
Stockholm School of Economics
Hans Kjellberg and Johan Hagberg

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 25th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2009.


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The so-called practice turn (Schatzki et al., 2001) has made entries in many disciplines of contemporary social science. So far, however, there is a paucity of empirical practice studies addressing the activities of market practitioners. In this paper, we analyze marketing practices in two longitudinal case studies of Swedish retail trade. The research question dealt with is: who is performing marketing? We employ the threefold conceptualization of market practices as interlinked exchange, normalizing and representational practices proposed by Kjellberg and Helgesson (2006; 2007) to select a number of empirical vignettes of marketing practice from the case studies. Our analysis shows that important marketing activities were carried out by a multitude of actors, including professionals and amateurs, individuals and collectives, humans and non-humans, specialists and generalists. In our concluding discussion, we trace the implications of this observed heterogeneity of practices and practitioners both for research and for market practice.