Alexander Rose, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marketing, at Murray State University is this week’s #RacerScholar. He co-authored to the article, “Mutuality: Critique and substitute for Belk’s “sharing”,’ which was published in the March 2016 edition of Marketing Theory.
The recently introduced construct of consumer sharing is represented as a nonreciprocal, pro-social distribution of resources given without expectation of reciprocity (Belk, 2010, Sharing’, Journal of Consumer Research 36: 715-34). The approach adopted rests on shaky ontological and epistemological grounds and reproduces an array of problematic modernist dichotomies (e.g., agency/structure, nurturing family/instrumental public, gift/market, and altruism/self-interest) that significantly constrain the analytical enterprise. This work redresses some of the conceptual problems in the current formulation. The critique highlights a focus on resource distribution based on a more holistic, socially grounded perspective on circulation. We offer the alternative concept of mutuality or generalized exchange and the metaphor of inclusion rather than exchange as central to this perspective. We argue this may provide a more sound basis for understanding alternative modes of circulation.
Mutuality: Critique and substitute for Belk’s “sharing”
By Eric J. Arnoul and Alexander S. Rose
Marketing Theory: Mar 2016, vol. 16(1), pgs. 75-99