Abstract and Keywords
Market intermediaries such as location consultants, tourism promoters, and branding specialists exploit the symbolic value of national territories to promote economic development. Although these practices are often justified as a way to “level the global playing field” of market interactions, they typically achieve the opposite effect, reinforcing or creating inequality and status differences. This chapter reviews some of the theoretical assumptions and pragmatic features of place-based marketing and branding, with particular emphasis on the role of judgment adopted by market intermediaries in the cultural economy. The argument advanced here is that symbolic and material systems are co-constitutive in the production of place; and that market intermediaries engage in ongoing practices of valuation to link national identity with material advantage.
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