Darmstadt 2015: Stereotypes and knowledge representations in marketing and advertising

The “European Cultures in Business and Corporate Communication” (EUCO) research network’s
2015 International and Interdisciplinary Conference
29th - 31th October 2015 in the Georg-Lichtenberg-House, TU Darmstadt
“Stereotypes and knowledge representations in marketing and advertising”



One recurring theme in advertising research is the extent to which advertising picks up on, influences or reinforces societal trends – or even creates them, realigns them or enables them to become established. Whatever the case may be, advertising should be understood as a form of cultural steering or “management” which, whether intended by marketers or not, gives rise to socio-political and cultural effects.
By using the term stereotype our intention is to highlight a concept that may tell us something about the way companies make use of condensed forms of orientation and identification as part of their marketing and communications strategies, both now and in the past and in both culturally specific and cross-cultural contexts, to attract potential customers. The term knowledge representation (e.g. frame/ knowledge framework, mental concept or mental model) is intended to open up the research field a little wider in order, by means of reconstruction, to seek out less stereotyped entities.
The organisers therefore look forward to receiving papers that address the concept of stereotype and of knowledge representations, exploring their role in marketing and advertising – whether as part of strategies aimed at attracting attention or persuading, as an expression of marketing impacts, or as an (unnoticed, unintentional?) reinforcement of images of human nature and other mental constructs and concepts in societal discourse. Of interest to us are the instruments of cultural steering represented in both linguistic and visual form as well as their socio-political and economic effects.

Papers are invited on topics such as the following:
- Using both theory and methods to locate and explore stereotypes, knowledge representations and other reconstructions of cultural steering.
- Ideas and plans of practitioners in marketing and advertising regarding the use of stereotypes.
- Impacts resulting from the use of stereotypes in marketing and advertising.
- Reconstructions of individual stereotypes and knowledge representations in advertising and marketing communication in relation to societally relevant discourses.
- Linguistic/visual/multimodal forms (use vs. reinforcement) of stereotypical images of human nature and values (e.g. stereotypes based on age and gender, sociotypes).
- Culturally specific or industry-specific elements of certain stereotypes or knowledge representations.
- Participation of different actors (e.g. including customers) in the discursive construction of stereotypes or the reconstruction of actor-specific knowledge representations.

As always, we are keen to see a wide range of disciplines engaging with one another in debate and to ensure that there is an exchange between theory and practice; newer academics in particular are welcome to present current work on these topics.

The following have agreed to be keynote speakers: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bolten (Intercultural Business Communication, University of Jena, on the topic of “Stereotypes and multiple identities – a contradiction?”, in German) and Prof. Dr. Guide Zurstiege (Media Studies, Tübingen, on the topic of “Advertising after advertising”, in German).

Conference languages: German and English.


Conference location:

Georg-Lichtenberg-House at TU Darmstadt, Dieburger Strasse 241, Darmstadt.



Prof. Dr. Nina Janich, Dr. Nina Kalwa, Dr. des. Lisa Rhein, euko2015@linglit.tu-darmstadt.de


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