Polystructurational Social Space: The Final Frontier

Sid Lowe, Michel Roger Mark Rod, Ki-Soon Hwang


We explore a discourse structurational approach and employ a planetary system metaphor in
order to examine complex business networks within contemporary globalizing, consumer cultures. This conceptual/commentary paper reviews discourse structuration and employs a celestial metaphor to comment on strategy including reference to consumption, business marketing and business network research. Each sphere in the metaphorical constellation is characterised by a complex duality of deep structures and surface activities co-determined and mutually constituted through the medium of modulated actors’ schemas, norms and other ‘technologies’ of their practical consciousness. Market consumption is a galaxy comprised of complex, interacting, multiple structurations where everything co-determines everything else through mutual gravitational influence. We argue that consumption is comparable to a black hole at the centre of the system dragging all matter into its centre, warping and distorting structures and processes until eventually destroying and assimilating them altogether. Implications and consequences are discussed in terms of the increasing hegemony of consumption and consequent commodification of other spheres with via a discourse structuration approach concentrating upon strategy and marketing.


discourse structuration; astronomy metaphor; market consumption; black hole; networks

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