This paper considers social marketing from a critical perspective. The paper traces the history of the donation system named ‘hometown tax’ that the Japanese government introduced to promote local revitalization of relatively marginal communities. Owing to the lavish reciprocal gifts to “donors” by the administrators of these communities, the system resulted in a quasi-market that allowed donors to avoid paying taxes and to receive special benefits. Our analysis reveals the divergence of the intents and effects of this social marketing intervention. The findings indicate that during social marketing attempts to carry out effective and well-intentioned interventions, which social marketing research has always advocated, societal perversions may occur sometimes. This is owing to the neoliberal governmentality, which is behind such interventions, and which causes unintended actions and consequences that distract from the ideal social good, even when interventions are formulated and launched with laudable intentions. This paper indicates the critical issues that social marketing should address and provides a reflective viewpoint on social marketing. It points to pitfalls and problems in effective interventions for individual behavioral change and social change.
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Hidaka, Yuichiro and Mizukoshi, Kosuke
"From Social Marketing to Societal Perversion: History of Hometown Tax in Japan,"
Markets, Globalization & Development Review:
1, Article 3.
Anthropology Commons, Economics Commons, Geography Commons, Marketing Commons, Other Business Commons, Political Science Commons, Sociology Commons
Yuichiro Hidaka is an associate professor of marketing in the graduate school of Humanities and Social Sciences at Okayama University, Japan. His research focuses on social marketing and he has an interest in critical marketing.
Kosuke Mizukoshi is an associate professor of marketing in the business school at Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan. His research focuses on marketing communication, especially on the Internet, and he also has an interest in critical and practice studies.