Tackling the Subaltern Quandary: Marketing Systems of Dignity
journal contributionposted on 11.08.2020, 00:29 by SR Jagadale, Djavlonbek Kadirov, D Chakraborty
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017. The subaltern quandary refers to the failure of a fast-growing economy to improve the abysmal living conditions of marginalized groups. To gain a better insight into this issue, we investigate the subaltern group’s experiences of marketing systems in the context of neo-liberal reforms in rural India. The qualitative analysis of subaltern narratives shows that subaltern experiences are shaped by marketization processes that imbue market relations with new stylized meanings of dignity. Despite these meanings perpetuating limited and distorted constructions, subalterns use them, exemplified in their attempts to minimize their perceived dissimilarity to other marketing system actors, in order to gain access to predominant, albeit flawed, marketing systems. Thus, the status quo is rarely challenged. This research suggests that the subaltern quandary can only be resolved when market development initiatives take human worth as a main goal, while subalterns are empowered with market system creation, design and governance capabilities.