For those students about to commence studies in the Royal Holloway MA Marketing, I strongly urge you to conduct advance reading. This will prepare you for the way that we approach the subject of marketing and also, hopefully, create a common body of knowledge among the students which will facilitate better class discussion. Therefore I recommend the following texts:
1. Critical Marketing by Chris Hackley
This book is the essential reading for the Critical Marketing core module that will be presented by Chris Hackley. The emphasis on critical approaches, not just managerial application, is a distinctive aspect of the Royal Holloway MA Marketing and this book serves as a very helpful introduction that will allow students to orientate themselves around various parts of the programme content. In particular the book emphasises that marketing should be studied and understood with an intellectual robustness and roundedness that one would expect of any humanities or social science field of study.
2. Contemporary Issues in Marketing & Consumer Behaviour by Liz Parsons & Pauline Maclaran
This textbook is used by Pauline Maclaran as essential reading for the Contemporary Issues in Consumer Research core module. The text provides an overview of a diverse range of societal issues raised by marketing activity and contains contributions from a series of scholars. The text looks at the history of marketing thought, ethical consequences of marketing and gender implications among many other topics. In short the book provides a highly eclectic set of commentaries and analyses about the field of marketing and its consequences.
3. The Rise of Brands by Liz Moor
This book provides a wonderful overview about brands and analyses them from a variety of viewpoints and brings a theoretical richness which far exceeds the conventional framing of brands. Brands are reviewed historically and understood as ideological technologies during an era of neo-liberalism.
4. Brands: Meaning and Value in Media Culture by Adam Arvidsson
From years of teaching brands and branding it is clear that the concepts that students find most difficult to comprehend are the very theories that stem from this book. It is indeed a difficult read but bear with it because the analysis of branding that is presented is an excellent exploration into how we can understand value with reference to the vagueness and strangeness of brands as immaterial social technologies. In an age where brands generate gigantic financial evaluations and can be thought of as the chief asset of organisations, Arvidsson's book works through the mechanics of how value can be understood. Yes, this is a difficult read but if you can get a good grasp of this theory, you will find the course much easier to engage with.
5. Inside Marketing: Practices, Ideologies & Devices by Detlev Zwick & Julien Cayla
While this book is not attached to any particular module and is indeed outrageously expensive (sorry), it provides an excellent series of commentaries that explore how marketing functions and is practiced. You can read my full review of the book here.
(Note - Julien has posted in comments below that the book is available for £20 via the Book Depository)
For more information about Royal Holloway, please see this promotional video. To see a promotional video for the MA Consumption, Markets & Culture see here. To see a promotional video for the Royal Holloway School of Management, click here.
For more information about the Royal Holloway MA Marketing and MA Consumption, Culture & Marketing and the application process see here.
To get an understanding of the unique values that underly the MA Marketing and MA Consumption, Culture & Marketing programme please read these blog posts: Value of Scholarly Values, Importance of Reading and Morris Holbrook and Business Interest in Education.
To see examples of previous students work please click through to see the work of Yelena Sherbakov, Igor Korovenkov, Klara Scheurenbrand, Christina Demertsidou, Liliya Tokmantseva, Hafez Rafirasme, Asya Medvedeva, Vera Hoelscher, Milena Citton, Tracey Wechie, Hector Murphy and Alejandro Gallindo Diego.