Rethinking the Life Course

In many Western societies, we go about our daily routine, we generally think about our life trajectory following a fairly linear path. We think of life stages as being sequential: each stage follows the next. We are born, then we go through our childhood: we go to school, we go through our teenage years. We then become adults – we leave home, we go to work, we get married, we have kids. Then we grow old: we retire, we enjoy our leisure time, and eventually as we age we will die. The issue is that life does really fit this neat journey. Not everyone can or wants to have kids. Not everyone can jump straight from study to work. We know this yet society doesn’t really help us prepare for the disruptions along the way.

So what happens specifically if our work lives are disrupted? What can employers learn from taking a life course approach to hiring new staff? This post discusses the social science research on how work disruptions can be better supported through community services and better workplace planning. Continue reading “Rethinking the Life Course”

Culture is Important in Capitalist Business

“Even at the heart of capitalist business, culture is important. A purely strategic approach isn’t sustainable.” In “Solidarity in Strategy, ” Dr Lyn Spillman shows that business is not purely about self interest and profit. Business networks are driven to success through collaboration. Civic action and working towards the common good have taken on new meaning in the market. This is why an understanding of social and cultural relationships is central to economic progress. Continue reading “Culture is Important in Capitalist Business”

A Black woman is typing on a Mac laptop

What is Social Marketing?

Social Marketing is the application of commercial practices using a social science framework. It is particularly used for public information campaigns. The aim is to understand social behaviour and affect positive social change. This is done through targeted research on a particular community and in partnership with stakeholders.

Social scientists work with governments, community groups and businesses who need to communicate with hard to reach or vulnerable groups. Research shows that negative emotions like shame and guilt are ineffective but advertisers continue to use them. It’s better to first approach the group of interest using interviews and surveys to see how they understand the issue and then focus marketing on empowerment. Rather than making people feel bad, we focus on what they do well and then educate them about their options.

A circle projected on the roof of Watergardens. Quote at the top reads: social scientists work with governments, community groups, and businesses who need to communicate with hard to reach or vulnerable groups
Social scientists work with governments, community groups and businesses
Continue reading “What is Social Marketing?”