The role of institutions in non-Western contexts in reinforcing West-centric knowledge hierarchies: towards more self-reflexivity in marketing and consumer research

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Abstract

Critics often associate West-centric knowledge hierarchies in marketing (as well as in business and management studies) with (neo)colonialism, academic journal ranking fetishism, resource scarcity in non-Western societies, and the domination of the English Language in the international scholarly landscape. I advance this debate by examining the role non-Western societies themselves have played in reinforcing the phenomenon. Using the Muslim Middle East as a context, I argue that the coupling of the institutions of state politics and religion during the 20th century has negatively influenced the development of social sciences. I show how unreflexive Islamic civilizational revivalism has paradoxically contributed to the reproduction of the same hegemonic discourse it intended to repudiate. These, I argue, are the outcomes of the institutional arrangements that Western colonial/imperial powers have left behind in subordinate societies. I conclude by inviting researchers in both Western and non-western contexts to develop a sense of self-reflexivity, one that can help create more consciousness about how what they write can impact upon self and others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211–227
Number of pages17
JournalMarketing Theory
Volume22
Issue number2
Early online date8 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • self-reflexivity
  • social theory development
  • colonialism
  • knowledge hierarchies
  • knowledge and power
  • West-centrism
  • non-Western contexts

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