Rebels with a cause: The spiritual dimension of social marketing



Hastings G (2017) Rebels with a cause: The spiritual dimension of social marketing. Journal of Social Marketing, 7 (2), pp. 223-232.

Purpose: To explore the spiritual dimension of social marketing. Approach: Conceptual. Findings: The greatest problems humankind faces, from NCD epidemics to global warming, are self-inflicted. We are voluntarily drinking the sugar sweetened beverages and driving the SUVs which threaten our health and our planet. It need not be so. Historical experience and two millennia of thinking show we are capable of better. We all have within us the moral agency to make the right choice even when it is the difficult one; we just have to reconnect with it. Indeed, it is this capacity and desire "to follow after wisdom and virtue", to rebel against injustice and malignancy, that makes us human and cements our collective identity. In the last century this realisation was focused by the terrible events of World War II and resulted in the formation of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Originality/Value: This paper argues that these ideas of agency, morality and rights have fundamental implications for social marketing. We have to move beyond mere behaviour change and start thinking about people in the round - body, mind and spirit. Our job involves more than giving diets a healthy nudge or making the ecological option easy, fun and popular; we have to foster and encourage the innate human drive to think critically and act accordingly. We are not here to edit choice but to facilitate personal growth and social progress.

Social Marketing; Spirituality; Health Promotion; Marketing

Journal of Social Marketing: Volume 7, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online10/04/2017
Date accepted by journal10/02/2017

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Professor Gerard Hastings

Professor Gerard Hastings

Emeritus Professor, Institute for Social Marketing