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Death, dying and ‘difficult’ marketing: an ethnographic study of marketing at an English hospice

Hyde, Fran (2018) Death, dying and ‘difficult’ marketing: an ethnographic study of marketing at an English hospice. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the sociomaterial practice of marketing at St Angela’s hospice in England and sets out how marketing practice plays a fundamental part in the influencing, organising and constructing End of Life Care (EOLC). Specifically, it examines how organisation-level marketing practices are informed by, and in turn inform, broader principles of marketisation. Drawing on the theoretical concept of performativity in relation to markets and marketing, this thesis advances an understanding of how the actions of a newly formed hospice marketing team frame and shape resulting in a particular form of care for the terminally ill. Key findings point to a constitutive role of marketing practice for processes of marketisation in an area of society where multiple issues and concerns exist. Revealing the consequences arising from the performative struggles to achieve and legitimise marketing practice this study shows the specific role of a marketing team in an organisation. Conceptualising the sociomaterial productive practice of marketing as ‘difficult’ but ‘purposeful’ through showing the effects and consequences of this practice, both in a hospice and in EOLC, this thesis makes an important contribution to the understanding of what marketing practice can accomplish. Undertaken as a three-month ethnography, exposing the challenges of carrying out research in an organisational setting to examine the ‘doing’ of marketing practice in which the central focus both of the organisation and the sector is, death and dying, this study addresses the paucity of studies carried out in the difficult context of a hospice. By revealing the consequences of the work of a non-clinical team this study broadens the consideration of who and what influences EOLC. Accordingly, this thesis contributes to both the study of marketing practice and Market Studies through detailing the productive workings of one functional area of a hospice. Giving important insight for hospice stakeholders through the focus within the thesis of who and what shapes EOLC this study is relevant for providers of EOLC and all concerned more widely with the care of the terminally ill because this thesis proposes how a form of care, which for most is inaccessible, as well as way for those at the end of their lives to behave, to ‘die well’, has come about.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Frances Hyde
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2018 14:12
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2018 14:12
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22135

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