Stateside Podcast: The defining power of culture
Marketing professor Marcus Collins' new book, "For the Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be," offers ways to define the amorphous thing we call "culture."
Collins is a clinical assistant professor of marketing at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and head strategist at ad agency Wieden+Kennedy's New York office. Despite noticing that "culture" is regarded as a powerful force in the industry, Collins said, he struggled to find a concrete definition of the term.
"There's just, you know, abstractions and jargon, these esoteric phrases for it," Collins said. "And that, to me, is what signals a problem. I mean, it's the academic in me, but if we can't describe a thing concretely, then how do we ever operationalize it? And that sort of sparked the journey to find some definition."
Collin's new book is the result of that journey. "For The Culture" not only offers a way to define "culture," but outlines its power to shape our perceptions of ourselves, and each other.
So often, when we interact with a culture we don't understand, "we rely on instinct [and] ego, we villainize them," Collins said.
"So as a researcher, as a scholar, as a practitioner, I see this happening in the world and go, 'Hey guys, we need to be able to talk better," Collins said. "Because what we know of culture is that's how we make meaning - through discourse. Which is why I wrote the book."
You can listen to our full conversation with Marcus Collins on the podcast.
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