The Stigma Turbine: A Theoretical Framework for Conceptualizing and Contextualizing Marketplace Stigma

Ann M. Mirabito, Cele C. Otnes, Elizabeth Crosby, David B. Wooten, Jane E. Machin, Chris Pullig, Natalie Ross Adkins, Susan Dunnett, Kathy Hamilton, Kevin D. Thomas, Marie A. Yeh, Cassandra Davis, Johanna F. Gollnhofer, Aditi Grover, Jess Matias, et al.
Article Snapshot
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Key Takeaways

​Market players are not only central to (de)stigmatization but can also be stigmatized themselves.

We offer the Stigma Turbine as a model of understanding the sociocultural sources and targets of stigma, including the marketplace.

We offer practical tools and suggestions for those who want to assess the potential stigmatization implications of their actions for consumers and other stakeholders.

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

We offer the first thorough consideration of how marketplace stakeholders (e.g., retailers, marketers, consumers, advertisers) contribute to (de)stigmatization and integrate this understanding with other relevant sources and targets of stigma in a model we call The Stigma Turbine.



Research

We conducted this research is to gain a better understanding of the role of the marketplace as a source and/or target for (de)stigmatization. While stigma has been explored at the individual level, it has not been examined as a macro-level phenomenon, and the various sources and targets of stigma within culture have not been explored in an integrated fashion. We offer a conceptual model, the Stigma Turbine, to explain how stigma acquires its dynamic power. We explore the societal, cultural, and institutional currents that can fuel stigma and the individual, social, and marketplace targets of stigma.

Method

Our review of the stigma literature revealed the need for a conceptual model to provide a more macro, marketplace-oriented perspective on understanding stigma, resulting in our development of the Stigma Turbine.



Findings

We offer a conceptual model, the Stigma Turbine, to explain how stigma acquires its dynamic power. We explore the contextual currents within culture that can fuel stigma and the individual, societal, and marketplace targets of stigma. Our primary innovation is that we are the first to consider all cultural sources of stigma in one model, as well as how they interact to contribute to both stigmatization and destigmatization. We offer (1) public-policy implications, (2) a tool called the “Stigma Audit” for practitioners, and (3) an agenda for future research that can further propel our understanding of stigma.

Implications

Many people face stigma every day; stigma represents a social judgment of a characteristic that falls out of the realm of “normal” in society (e.g., weight, ethnicity, disability). We show how stigma comes about and how it can be reduced. And we do so in the context of the marketplace. Managers can apply our stigma audit when considering marketing strategies and tactics, and researchers can use the turbine as a theoretical framework to guide future research in the area.


Questions for the Classroom

  • How can marketing stakeholders act as sources of (de)stigmatization?
  • How can marketing stakeholders be targets of (de)stigmatization?
  • What are the key components of the Stigma Turbine?
  • What is the authors' rationale for arguing that the Stigma Turbine is an effective metaphor for understanding (de)stigmatization practices?


Article Citation

Ann M. Mirabito, Cele C. Otnes, Elizabeth Crosby, David B. Wooten, Jane E. Machin, Chris Pullig, Natalie Ross Adkins, Susan Dunnett, Kathy Hamilton, Kevin D. Thomas, Marie A. Yeh, Cassandra Davis, Johanna F. Gollnhofer, Aditi Grover, Jess Matias, Natalie A. Mitchell, Edna G. Ndichu, Nada Sayarh, and Sunaina Velagaleti (2016), “The Stigma Turbine: A Theoretical Framework for Conceptualizing and Contextualizing Marketplace Stigma,” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 35 (2), 170-184.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jppm.15.145​


Ann M. Mirabito is Associate Professor of Marketing (e-mail: Ann_Mirabito@Baylor.edu), and Chris Pullig is Professor of Marketing (e-mail: Chris_Pullig@baylor.edu), Baylor University.

Cele C. Otnes is Investors in Business Education Professor of Marketing, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (e-mail: cotnes@illinois.edu).

Elizabeth Crosby is Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse (e-mail: ecrosby@uwlax.edu).

David B. Wooten is Alfred L. Edwards Collegiate Professor of Marketing, University of Michigan (e-mail: dbwooten@umich.edu).

Jane E. Machin is Assistant Professor of Marketing, Radford University (e-mail: jmachin@radford.edu). Natalie Ross Adkins is Associate Professor of Marketing, Drake University (e-mail: natalie.adkins@drake.edu).

Susan Dunnett is Lecturer in Marketing, University of Edinburgh (e-mail: Susan.Dunnett@ed.ac.uk).

Kathy Hamilton is Reader in Marketing, University of Strathclyde (e-mail: kathy.hamilton@strath.ac.uk).

Kevin D. Thomas is Assistant Professor (e-mail: kevin.thomas@utexas.edu), and Jess Matias is a doctoral candidate in advertising (e-mail: jessmatias@utexas.edu), University of Texas at Austin.

Marie A. Yeh is Assistant Professor, Loyola University Maryland (e-mail: mayeh@loyola.edu).

Cassandra Davis is a doctoral candidate in marketing, University of Arkansas (e-mail: cdavis@walton.uark.edu).

Johanna F. Gollnhofer is Assistant Professor, University of Southern Denmark and Research Associate, University of St. Gallen (e-mail: johanna.gollnhofer@sam.sdu.dk).​

Aditi Grover is Clinical Assistant Professor of Marketing, Oklahoma State University (e-mail: aditi.grover@okstate.edu).

Natalie A. Mitchell is Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing, Tulane University (e-mail: nmitche1@tulane.edu).

Edna G. Ndichu is a doctoral candidate in management and marketing, University of Wyoming (e-mail: endichu@uwyo.edu).

Nada Sayarh is a doctoral candidate in marketing, University of Geneva (e-mail: essaigh@hotmail.com).

Sunaina Velagaleti is a doctoral candidate in marketing, University of Wisconsin–Madison (e-mail: velagaleti@wisc.edu).


Author Bio:

 
Ann M. Mirabito, Cele C. Otnes, Elizabeth Crosby, David B. Wooten, Jane E. Machin, Chris Pullig, Natalie Ross Adkins, Susan Dunnett, Kathy Hamilton, Kevin D. Thomas, Marie A. Yeh, Cassandra Davis, Johanna F. Gollnhofer, Aditi Grover, Jess Matias, et al.
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