Omission and Commission as Marketplace Trauma

Aronté Marie Bennett, Stacey Menzel Baker, Samantha Cross, J.P. James, Gregory Bartholomew, Akon E. Ekpo, Geraldine Rosa Henderson, Martina Hutton, Apoorv Khare, Abhijit Roy, Tony Stovall, and Charles Ray Taylor
Article Snapshot
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Key Takeaways

​Marketplace omission occurs when marketers chronically fail to engage, intervene, acknowledge, and/or include diverse individuals and groups. In contrast, marketplace commission misrepresents, mistreats, and/or essentializes individuals or groups.

Cultural trauma arises when the larger society comes to understand that omission and commission are not just marketplace traumas that impact “them” (collective trauma) but rather that they are marketplace traumas that impact all of “us.”

The 3 E's—exposure, education, and empathy—can be used to combat marketplace trauma.

​Article Snapshots: Executive Summaries from the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing​

This paper discusses the concepts of omission and commission as marketplace trauma within the theoretical framework of cultural trauma theory; specific attention is given to identifying the meanings and processes of the people, activities, and outcomes likely when trauma is likely to occur.



Research

This research was born out of conversations that took place during the Transformative Consumer Research (TCR) conference. Prior to this, marketplace omission and commission had not been considered as sources of consumer trauma. We hypothesize that these types of traumas can lead to restricted consumption, damaged marketing systems, and the reinforcement of institutionalized privilege.

Method

We developed the theoretical framework during the dialogical TCR conference). The resultant manuscript reflects our varied perspectives and expertise.

Findings

This paper highlights the complex relationship between marketplace omission and commission; their interplay with other elements of the trauma process, including discourse, social structures, and practices; and their consequences for multiple-marginalized groups, using specific examples of exclusion and discrimination based on social categories such as race, disability, and gender identity. It also examines the process by which a trauma elevates from a collective trauma to a cultural trauma.



Implications

This manuscript approaches a complex marketplace phenomenon, one that negatively affects many citizens, and presents it in an easily digestible form, explaining the antecedents and consequences of marketplace trauma. As society moves forward, researchers, marketers and policy makers need to more closely examine the instances marketplace trauma and its consequences. It is essential that the wider society holds perpetrators accountable, helps develop policies/regulations, and follows acts of injustice with corrective action (see, e.g., Target’s stance on restroom access).


Questions for the Classroom

  • Have you ever experienced omission or commission in the marketplace? Do you think it was based on your identity? If so, which aspect?

  • Which factors are most important in raising a collective trauma to a cultural one?

  • What can be done to reduce the incidence of or prevent marketplace trauma?


Article Citation

Aronté Marie Bennett, Stacey Menzel Baker, Samantha Cross, J.P. James, Gregory Bartholomew, Akon E. Ekpo, Geraldine Rosa Henderson, Martina Hutton, Apoorv Khare, Abhijit Roy, Tony Stovall, and Charles Ray Taylor (2016), “Omission and Commission as Marketplace Trauma,” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 35 (2), 280-291.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jppm.15.149


Aronté Marie Bennett is Associate Professor of Marketing, Villanova University (e-mail: aronte.bennett@villanova.edu).

Stacey Menzel Baker is Professor of Marketing, Creighton University (e-mail: StaceyMenzelBaker@creighton.edu).

Samantha Cross is Assistant Professor of Marketing, Iowa State University (e-mail: snncross@iastate.edu).

J.P. James is a doctoral candidate in marketing, Rutgers University (e-mail: j.p.james@rutgers.edu).

Gregory Bartholomew is Assistant Professor of Education, Dixie State University (e-mail: bartholomew@dixie.edu).

Akon E. Ekpo is Assistant Professor of Marketing, Rutgers University (e-mail: akon.ekpo@rutgers.edu).

Geraldine Rosa Henderson is Associate Professor of Marketing, Loyola University Chicago (e-mail: ghenderson5@luc.edu).

Martina Hutton is Senior Lecturer in Marketing, University of Winchester (e-mail: Martina.Hutton@winchester.ac.uk).

Apoorv Khare is a doctoral candidate in marketing, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (e-mail: apoorvk10@iimcal.ac.in).

Abhijit Roy is Professor of Marketing, University of Scranton (e-mail: roya2@scranton.edu).

Tony Stovall is Assistant Professor of Marketing, Woodbury University (e-mail: tony.stovall@woodbury.edu).

Charles Ray Taylor is John A. Murphy Professor of Marketing, Villanova University (e-mail: raymond.taylor@villanova.edu).



Author Bio:

 
Aronté Marie Bennett, Stacey Menzel Baker, Samantha Cross, J.P. James, Gregory Bartholomew, Akon E. Ekpo, Geraldine Rosa Henderson, Martina Hutton, Apoorv Khare, Abhijit Roy, Tony Stovall, and Charles Ray Taylor
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