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Towards understanding of arts as social mobiliser

Jafari, Aliakbar and Taheri, Babak and Hamilton, Kathy (2013) Towards understanding of arts as social mobiliser. In: Academy of Marketing Conference 2013 - Marketing Relevance, 2013-07-08 - 2013-07-11.

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We use the case of Paragon – a charity music company in Glasgow – to argue how arts can foster ‘social mobility’ in contemporary society. Social mobility in our study does not follow the traditional definition and use of the term in economic and social class theories. Rather, we use the term in a broader sense to refer to the way different groups of people are empowered to participate in a variety of everyday life situations in the heart of society. Our key objective is therefore to draw the attention of marketing and consumer behaviour researchers to the ‘transformative’ nature of arts in our ever-changing society. Our study can contribute to the extant marketing and consumer behaviour literatures on arts and non-profit sector in two ways: (1) it extends the boundaries of ‘social mobility’ beyond the conventional concepts of economic and class culture and tap on other areas (e.g., disability, ethnicity, age disadvantage) which have been deemed highly critical by transformative marketing and consumer behaviour researchers. (2) Building upon the existing literature on arts consumption, it demonstrates how the changing socio-cultural conditions of society give rise to arts as a social mobiliser.