8Magical Persuasion and Marketing

The identification of marketing (or the communicative aspects of it, if one chooses to make such a distinction) with magic is one that has been promoted by a number of scholars. Sometimes this conflation is argued for pejorative reasons and adopts stereotypes regarding magic, witchcraft, and sorcery that have clear origins in the Western Enlightenment project—if marketing is magic then it is fakery, delusion, ‘primitive’ in some sense, irrational. Sometimes we find scholars identifying aspects of marketing and consumption with magic from a more ethnographic perspective, focused on trying to delineate the ways in which traditional or folkloric magic practices live on within, or have been adopted by, the modern ...

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