Visual and Material Culture

Customers buy and consume much more than goods, services, and experiences. They look for meanings, which their purchases embed or help generate. This ‘economy of symbols’ requires specific understanding of how customers create and share on/off-line meanings as well as of how these meanings are connected to the socio-cultural and technological context in which they emerge. By actively participating in this (de)construction of meanings, marketing managers have expanded their persuasive levers that, among others, include advertising representations, brand contents and narratives, participation in the digital society, and rhetorical prototypes. Through its distinctive palette of courses, this thematic area offers critical understanding of the links connecting markets, culture, and society. In doing so, it sheds light on the commercial benefits and the socio-cultural implications of said ‘economy of symbols’.