Issues of racial and ethnic diversity have recently come to the fore in conversations about equity, representation, and inclusion. These concerns have been present far longer than the world has been discussing them, and many marketing journals are only beginning to contribute to the conversation. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing (JPP&M) chronicles and analyzes the joint impact of marketing and governmental actions on economic performance, consumer welfare, and business decisions. The journal has explored questions of race within the context of marketing and public policy since its inception, and it continues to do so through research, conference sessions, and the AMA’s partnership with The PhD Project. This page catalogs JPP&M‘s contributions on the topic of race and its intersection with marketing and public policy.
A Call for Further Research at the Intersection of Race, Marketing, and Public Policy
Operationalizing Critical Race Theory in the Marketplace
Sonja Martin Poole, Sonya A. Grier, Kevin D. Thomas, Francesca Sobande, Akon E. Ekpo, Lez Trujillo Torres, Lynn A. Addington, Melinda Weekes-Laidlow, Geraldine Rosa Henderson
Race is integral to the functioning and ideological underpinnings of marketplace actions yet remains undertheorized in marketing. To understand and transform the insidious ways in which race operates, the authors examine its impact in marketplaces and how these effects are shaped by intersecting forms of systemic oppression. They introduce critical race theory (CRT) to the marketing community as a useful framework for understanding consumers, consumption, and contemporary marketplaces. They outline critical theory traditions as utilized in marketing and specify the particular role of CRT as a lens through which scholars can understand marketplace dynamics. The authors delineate key CRT tenets and how they may shape the way scholars conduct research, teach, and influence practice in the marketing discipline. To clearly highlight CRT’s overall potential as a robust analytical tool in marketplace studies, the authors elaborate on the application of artificial intelligence to consumption markets. This analysis demonstrates how CRT can support an enhanced understanding of the role of race in markets and lead to a more equitable version of the marketplace than what currently exists. Beyond mere procedural modifications, applying CRT to marketplace studies mandates a paradigm shift in how marketplace equity is understood and practiced.
Institutionalizing Diversity-and-Inclusion-Engaged Marketing for Multicultural Marketplace Well-Being
Eva Kipnis, Catherine Demangeot, Chris Pullig, Samantha N.N. Cross, Charles Chi Cui, Cristina Galalae, Shauna Kearney, Tana Cristina Licsandru, Carlo Mari, Verónica Martín Ruiz, Samantha Swanepoel, Lizette Vorster, Jerome D. Williams
Within an institutional theory framework, this article identifies three interconnected fields of the marketing institution—research, education, and practice—that contribute to advancing the diversity and inclusion discourse in promoting multicultural marketplace well-being. Conducting three studies, one in each field and across contexts in three continents, the authors identify barriers that inhibit effective implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives in today’s multicultural marketplaces. These barriers exist within and across fields and pertain to cultural-cognitive (shared meanings), normative (normative factors), and regulatory (rules and systems) pillars supporting the existence or transformation of institutions. From the research findings, the authors provide specific guidance for institutional work within marketing’s fields and policy developments needed to advance diversity-and-inclusion-engaged marketing for enhancing multicultural marketplace well-being.
Grier and Perry Win 2020 AMA-EBSCO Annual Award for Responsible Research in Marketing
Sonya A. Grier and Vanessa G. Perry are among the winners of the inaugural AMA-EBSCO Annual Award for Responsible Research in Marketing for their article, “Dog Parks and Coffee Shops: Faux Diversity and Consumption in Gentrifying Neighborhoods,” published in JPP&M in 2018. This award is funded by the AMA and EBSCO and cosponsored by the Sheth Foundation, in cooperation with the Community for Responsible Research in Business & Management (RRBM).
Dog Parks and Coffee Shops: Faux Diversity and Consumption in Gentrifying Neighborhoods
Sonya A. Grier, Vanessa G. Perry
The process of gentrification, whereby lower-income residents are replaced with higher-income ones (Glass 1964), has changed the composition and character of hundreds of urban neighborhoods in cities worldwide. These changes affect not only the physical landscape but also the diversity of the people who live there. This research explores diversity seeking, consumption, and community in neighborhoods undergoing gentrification. The authors conducted a qualitative study of longer-term and newer residents in three neighborhoods in Washington, DC, to examine how the demographic changes that accompany gentrification relate to consumption. The findings suggest that diversity-seeking tendencies among newer residents were accompanied by tensions in the social and consumption domains, such that longer-term residents perceived exclusion and all residents experienced a reduced sense of community. The authors also find that these dynamics undermined the diversity that drew residents to these areas in the first place, resulting in “faux diversity.” The authors draw on these findings to discuss strategies that marketers and policy makers can utilize to contribute to the development of inclusive, healthy, and sustainable diverse communities.
Read the Scholarly Insight about “Dog Parks and Coffee Shops”
Read an interview with authors Sonya A. Grier and Vanesa G. Perry
Race in the Marketplace and COVID-19
David Crockett and Sonya A. Grier
In the United States alone, COVID-19 has claimed tens of thousands of lives. And though it is no respecter of wealth, social status, or national boundary, initial claims that “We are all in this together!” have fallen flat. Such universalizing claims have proven unable to camouflage the extreme inequality in suffering, just as history would suggest (De Waal 2020).
This essay appears at a critical moment, in the throes of a public health crisis, wherein four decades of racialized fiscal austerity have proven to be fundamentally corrosive to any notion of public health and, by extension, social life (see Ahlberg et al. 2019). In response, we offer brief comments here in the form of a plea for more policy-oriented scholarship, particularly that which documents and theorizes the myriad connections between marketplace actors and racial inequality (and its intersection with other forms). We offer these comments as members of the Race in the Marketplace Research Network, which conducts and mobilizes marketplace research to that end.
COVID-19, Race and the Marketplace
Operating in a Constricted Space: Policy Actor Perceptions of Targeting to Address U.S. Health Disparities
Sonya A. Grier, Tracey King Schaller
Policy actors design and implement targeted interventions to eliminate disparities that exist between groups. Although necessary for achieving health equity, the use of targeting as a policy tool carries the potential for political backlash and social debate, which may influence whether and how policy actors use it. In this research, the authors examine policy actor perceptions regarding the use of targeting in the implementation of health policy. The authors conduct elite interviews with policy actors to better understand their work to design and implement interventions to address health disparities. Findings identify key tensions and trade-offs faced by policy actors related to targeting and reveal sociopolitical influences that shape whether and how targeted programs are considered, who receives them, and by what means they are delivered. The authors discuss the implications of the findings for the use of targeting and related marketing practices by policy actors to address health disparities and other significant public health concerns.
Are All Proximity Effects Created Equal? Fast Food Near Schools and Body Weight Among Diverse Adolescents
Sonya Grier, Brennan Davis
Prior research has demonstrated that the proximity of fast-food restaurants to schools is related to higher youth body weight and also suggests that this relationship may be stronger in urban areas. Research also suggests that some segments of youth may be more vulnerable to this relationship than others. The authors investigate the relationship of fast-food proximity to middle and high schools and adolescent weight outcomes, with a focus on understanding intra-urban differences across groups defined by ethnicity and school income. Their results suggest that body weight associations with proximity to a fast-food restaurant from school are not equal for all youth. Black and Hispanic students at low-income and urban schools have higher associations between school–fast food distance and youth body weight, up to four times greater than general distance associations. The authors discuss their findings in light of the complexity of understanding the relationship between retail marketing proximity and weight-related associations among youth, as well as obesity disparities.
Read more in JPP&M’s special section on the COVID-19 pandemic
2020 Valuing Diversity PhD Scholarship and WQS Award Recognition and Panel at AMA Summer
Access Granted? An Examination of Financial Capability, Trait Hope, Perceived Access, and Food Insecurity in Distressed Census Tracts
Jonathan Ross Gilbert, Christy Ashley
Food insecurity and poor nutrition negatively affect consumer health and well-being. Trait hope is conceptualized as a powerful thought process that can facilitate change. However, it is unclear how trait hope, the sense that one can successfully plan and put forth energy to meet goals, influences food insecurity among impoverished consumers. The authors conducted an evaluative study using in-home surveys (n = 498) in seven distressed census tracts of a midsized southeastern U.S. city to understand how financial capability and trait hope, a cognitive process, interact to influence perceived access to fresh food among Black and Hispanic consumers that disproportionately face food insecurity. Trait hope positively moderated the relationship between financial capability and perceived access, which was related to lower food insecurity. The results, which indicated important differences related to race/ethnicity, suggest that interventions that improve financial capability and increase trait hope may improve efficacy of food and nutrition assistance programs.
Remedying Food Policy Invisibility with Spatial Intersectionality: A Case Study in the Detroit Metropolitan Area
Seongsoo Jang, Jinwong Kim
This study examines the intersectionality of race/ethnicity and poverty in terms of geographic access to 2,635 food stores of three types (supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience stores) in the tricounty Detroit metropolitan area (DMA). Prior research not only lacks an intersectional view of sociodemographic categories in explicating food store access, but it also fails to provide place-based policies to remedy food policy invisibility. The authors explore whether spatial dependencies among food stores exist and whether these are linked to sociodemographic heterogeneity in the DMA. Food stores are clustered across suburban and rural areas surrounding urban boundaries but are less clustered in the inner city. Poor neighborhoods have varying access to different types of food stores depending on the predominant racial/ethnic composition of the neighborhood. This research can assist policy makers in implementing place-based food interventions and policies, especially attracting new supermarkets and grocery stores to the urban DMA.
Shaping Small Business Lending Policy Through Matched-Pair Mystery Shopping
Sterling A. Bone, Glenn L. Christensen, Jerome D. Williams, Stella Adams, Anneliese Lederer, Paul C. Lubin
This article was selected as a runner-up for the Financial Times Responsible Business Education Awards
With limited financial sophistication, entrepreneurial consumers approach the financial marketplace more like retail financial consumers than like business customers. However, an assumption of both legislators and regulators is that business borrowers are more financially savvy than consumer borrowers and thus do not require protections that are as broad reaching. This gap between marketplace policy protections and the lived reality of the vast majority of small business entrepreneurs sets the stage for entrepreneurial consumers to fall through the regulatory cracks, creating the potential for exploitation and abuse. This situation may be exacerbated for minority entrepreneurs, who belong to protected classes that generally are more vulnerable to exploitation in marketplaces, including the small business lending marketplace. This article details the current status of the policy gap relative to minority entrepreneurial consumers and presents a matched-pair mystery shopping study to demonstrate the critical need for reliable, primary data to inform regulatory agencies as they work to implement appropriate protections to ensure equal access to credit across the small business lending marketplace.
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, Natalie A. Mitchell, Edna G. Ndichu, Nada Sayarh, Sunaina Velagaleti
Stigmas, or discredited personal attributes, emanate from social perceptions of physical characteristics, aspects of character, and “tribal” associations (e.g., race; Goffman 1963). Extant research has emphasized the perspective of the stigma target, with some scholars exploring how social institutions shape stigma. Yet the ways stakeholders within the sociocommercial sphere create, perpetuate, or resist stigma remain overlooked. The authors introduce and define marketplace stigma as the labeling, stereotyping, and devaluation by and of commercial stakeholders (consumers, companies and their employees, stockholders, and institutions) and their offerings (products, services, and experiences). The authors offer the Stigma Turbine as a unifying conceptual framework that locates marketplace stigma within the broader sociocultural context and illuminates its relationship to forces that exacerbate or blunt stigma. In unpacking the Stigma Turbine, the authors reveal the critical role that market stakeholders can play in (de)stigmatization, explore implications for marketing practice and public policy, and offer a research agenda to further understanding of marketplace stigma and stakeholder welfare.
Transforming Poverty-Related Policy with Intersectionality
Canan Corus, Bige Saatcioglu, Carol Kaufman-Scarborough, Christopher P. Blocker, Shikha Upadhyaya, Samuelson Appau
Despite progress toward poverty alleviation, policy making still lags in thinking about how individuals experience poverty as overlapping sources of disadvantage. Using the lens of intersectionality, this article identifies the gaps that arise from a conventional focus on isolated facets of poverty. Insights generated from an analysis of extant scholarship are used to develop a road map to help policy makers develop programs that address the complex experience of poverty and promote transformative solutions.
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, Charles Ray Taylor
This article discusses the concepts of omission and commission as marketplace trauma within the theoretical framework of cultural trauma theory. The authors identify the meanings and processes of the people, activities, and outcomes likely when marketplace omission and/or commission occur, as well as the factors that elevate these events from collective to cultural trauma. The authors use concepts of social structure, collective practices, and collective discourse in exploring the interconnectivity of marketplace traumas and their actors, victims, and consequences (i.e., constrained consumption, damaged marketing systems, and institutional privilege). They then leverage the same framework to propose further research and corrective actions.
A Comprehensive Typology of Ethnic Identities: Implications for Marketing and Public Policy
Denver D’Rozario, Guang Yang
Ethnic identity (EI) refers to a sense of camaraderie felt by most people, especially recent immigrants, with others in their ethnic group or with people in other groups. Although research in marketing and public policy has identified EI across various ethnic groups, little consistency exists across studies regarding terminology or theoretical explanations of EI. People under the influence of EI interact with marketers and public policy makers in a triad. Furthermore, each member of this triad can cause (positive or negative) implications for the other two. Beginning from established theory, the authors show that there are at least 12 distinct EIs. Although prior studies have identified these EIs, the authors differentiate all 12 and, using current, accepted theory, show how and why each arises. Finally, using several real-world examples, they show not only how each EI affects people, marketers, and public policy makers but also, and perhaps more importantly, how people, marketers, and public policy makers interact with one another in a triad, under the common influence of EI.
The Effect of Lifestyle-Based Depletion on Teen Consumer Behavior
Detra Y. Montoya, Maura L. Scott
Consumer overspending and lack of adequate savings have a significant economic impact and thus are high-profile issues for policy makers. The authors examine the overspending phenomenon from the perspective of resource depletion and role stress theories. They explore factors that influence consumer and financial decision-making quality among the teenaged consumer segment, conducting two studies—a survey and a series of depth interviews—with middle school and high school teenagers. The results suggest that lifestyle-based depletion (1) can affect consumption patterns among teens and (2) is prevalent among ethnic teenagers, girls, and teens with weak parental relationships. The authors provide recommendations to help guide further policy research and aid policy decision makers.
The concept of “intersectionality” refers to the interactivity of social identity structures such as race, class, and gender in fostering life experiences, especially experiences of privilege and oppression. This essay maps out the origins, evolution, and many contemporary meanings of intersectionality to make a notoriously ambiguous idea more concrete. In addition, the author clarifies the tenets of the intersectionality literature by contrasting traditional and intersectional research on marketplace diversity along three dimensions: ontology, methodology, and axiology. The essay concludes with implications for radicalizing diversity research, marketing, and advocacy.
The Impact of Disparate Levels of Marketplace Inclusion on Consumer–Brand Relationships
Aronté Marie Bennett, Ronald Paul Hill, Daniel Oleksiuk
While most racial discrimination has manifested historically as explicit exclusion, its contemporary iteration may be an implicit failure to include. Both forms of discrimination affect the way racial minorities interact with the marketplace. After providing a conceptual grounding in relevant literature, the authors propose a novel examination of how American minority groups perceive brands in ways that are similar to one another but different from majority American consumers. Using the research paradigm advanced by Fiske and her colleagues on perception and stereotyping, the authors find that there are differences in brand perceptions between racial groups, suggesting that disparate levels of marketplace access have impactful, systematic consequences for minority consumers.
Living on the Other Side of the Tracks: An Investigation of Public Housing Stereotypes
Carol M. Motley, Vanessa Gail Perry
Many ascribe to the concept of “home sweet home”; however, this is an increasingly elusive end state. The economic recession and depressed housing market have resulted in unprecedented numbers of displaced homeowners and an insufficient supply of affordable housing options. As a result of these circumstances, the homeless rate in the United States is at an all-time high, and many jurisdictions report long waiting lists for temporary shelters and subsidized, or “public,” housing. According to research, public housing is often stigmatized, and there are several widely held, negative stereotypes of public housing residents. The authors examine the perceptions of residents when the occupants are renters and the landlord is a governmental entity (i.e., public housing). The authors propose a conceptual model that examines public housing resident stereotypes based on perceivers’ prior knowledge, the propensity to seek out cultural diversity, and demographic characteristics. The findings from an experiment suggest that public housing stereotypes are a function of prior knowledge and diversity-seeking tendencies and that consumers’ diversity-seeking tendencies can be altered in response to certain external, situational stimuli. The authors discuss implications for public policy and consumer welfare.
Endlessly Creating Myself: Examining Marketplace Inclusion Through the Lived Experience of Black and White Male Millennials
Kevin D. Thomas
This study qualitatively examines the synergetic relationship between identity projects and the marketplace. The sample consisted of 20 men between the ages of 18 and 29 years; 10 self-identified as black, and 10 self-identified as white. Consumers must navigate multiple sites of identification that constantly shift in importance and involvement. To more closely reflect actual consumers, this study incorporated gender orientation, age, and race into an intersectional analysis. By taking a more “true-to-life” approach to consumption/identity research, this project unearths new knowledge that is proximate to the lived experience of consumers. While both white and black informants use the symbolic meaning of commodities as a mode of self-expression, key differences exist. Dominant discourse pertaining to white and black male identity appears to influence how informants perceive possibilities of self, which in turn affects marketplace interaction. The author concludes with a discussion of ways public policy can be used to remedy marketplace inequities.
Immigrants Versus Nationals: When an Intercultural Service Encounter Failure Turns to Verbal Confrontation
Guillaume D. Johnson, Yuvay J. Meyers, Jerome D. Williams
As diversity in the marketplace increases through immigration, examples of intolerance, confrontation, and even violence by nationals toward immigrant small business owners have begun to appear in popular press worldwide. This study examines how a simple and potentially unintended service encounter failure can evolve into a verbal confrontation that is outside the realm of acceptable marketplace interaction, to recommend ways to protect immigrant shopkeepers and their pursuit of entrepreneurial success as business owners. The results of two experiments in South Africa and the United States highlight that intercultural service encounter failure may put the shopkeeper at risk, as consumers’ reactions depend on the perceived level of similarity and anger, as well as the context. The findings suggest ways for policy makers to address the issues beyond the obvious repressive tools (i.e., training for [immigrant] shopkeepers in the management of consumers’ anger and a public campaign promoting diversity in the small business community).
From Exclusion to Inclusion: An Introduction to the Special Issue on Marketplace Diversity and Inclusion
Geraldine Rosa Henderson, Jerome D. Williams
New attention is needed for often overlooked and undervalued consumers. Some would argue that there has been sufficient attention to these groups, but perhaps the problem, from a public policy perspective, is with the marketing strategies that have been used to attract and retain their patronage. Some companies fear making a mistake and thus shy away from potentially complex markets. Still other firms fail to recognize the value of such niche markets because they see no potential for economies of scale. However, in this special issue, we argue that it is no longer a viable strategy for companies to stick their collective “heads in the sand.” Instead, private and public sectors should enact policies to ensure active interest in and respect for diverse marketplaces throughout the globe.
Toward Intercultural Competency in Multicultural Marketplaces
Catherine Demangeot, Natalie Ross Adkins, Rene Dentiste Mueller, Geraldine Rosa Henderson, Nakeisha S. Ferguson, James M. Mandiberg, Abhijit Roy, Guillaume D. Johnson, Eva Kipnis, Chris Pullig, Amanda J. Broderick, Miguel Angel Zúñiga
Intercultural competency plays a pivotal role in creating a more equitable and just marketplace in which situations of marketplace vulnerability are minimized and resilience is enhanced. Intercultural competency is the ability to understand, adapt, and accommodate another’s culture. In this essay, the authors present a framework of intercultural competency development in multicultural marketplaces. They discuss resilience-building actions for multicultural marketplace actors, specifically, consumers, companies/marketers, community groups and nongovernmental organizations, and policy makers for three phases of intercultural competency development.
Bridging Cultural Divides: The Role and Impact of Binational Families
Samantha N.N. Cross, Mary C. Gilly
The binational household, in essence, is a marriage of cultures, providing a bridge between previously disconnected cultural dispositions and consumption experiences. This essay posits that studying the role and impact of this culturally diverse micro-setting adds to the field’s knowledge and appreciation of culturally heterogeneous interactions. Understanding the impact of the binational family has several societal and public policy implications. The authors challenge researchers to think of the binational family as an important and relevant context in which to explore marketplace diversity, inclusion, and creativity.
Agents of Change: A Scale to Identify Diversity Seekers
Anne M. Brumbaugh, Sonya A. Grier
People who are interested in learning about and experiencing other cultures can be important to social and policy initiatives undertaken to motivate societal change. The authors develop a scale to identify “diversity seeking,” which they define as a person’s propensity to seek out cultural diversity in products, services, and experiences. They examine this scale in three experimental studies and show that the scale measures this propensity and is reliable, valid, and distinct from other constructs. The results also demonstrate that people’s level of diversity seeking is related to past, present, and intended diversity-related consumption behaviors. The authors suggest directions for further research regarding application of the scale to leverage the benefits of a multicultural marketplace for social marketing, public policy, and transformative consumer research efforts.
Beyond Poverty: Social Justice in a Global Marketplace
Linda Scott, Jerome D. Williams, Stacey Menzel Baker, Jan Brace-Govan, Hilary Downey, Anne-Marie Hakstian, Geraldine Rosa Henderson, Peggy Sue Loroz, Dave Webb
The social justice paradigm, developed in philosophy by John Rawls and others, reaches limits when confronted with diverse populations, unsound governments, and global markets. Its parameters are further limited by a traditional utilitarian approach to both industrial actors and consumer behaviors. Finally, by focusing too exclusively on poverty, as manifested in insufficient incomes or resources, the paradigm overlooks the oppressive role that gender, race, and religious prejudice play in keeping the poor subordinated. The authors suggest three ways in which marketing researchers could bring their unique expertise to the question of social justice in a global economy: by (1) reinventing the theoretical foundation laid down by thinkers such as Rawls, (2) documenting and evaluating emergent “feasible fixes” to achieve justice (e.g., the global resource dividend, cause-related marketing, Fair Trade, philanthrocapitalism), and (3) exploring the parameters of the consumption basket that would be minimally required to achieve human capabilities.
Immigration, Culture, and Ethnicity in Transformative Consumer Research
David Crockett, Laurel Anderson, Sterling A. Bone, Abhijit Roy, Jeff Jianfeng Wang, Garrett Coble
Immigration, culture, and ethnicity (IC&E) research has a lengthy history in consumer research, though most research focuses narrowly on identity (and related topics) and has been done at the individual level of analysis. First, the authors discuss the need for research focused on assessing well-being at the collective level and highlight the important role of social networks and communities in improving consumer well-being and creating effective policy interventions. Next, they explore the utility of the emerging intersectionality conceptual framework for research on well-being and IC&E. They offer specific suggestions for designing policy-oriented research using this approach and illustrate the process by taking a well-regarded IC&E study and reimagining its design using a process-centered approach to intersectionality.
Fast-Food Marketing and Children’s Fast-Food Consumption: Exploring Parents’ Influences in an Ethnically Diverse Sample
Sonya A. Grier, Janell Mensinger, Shirley H. Huang, Shiriki K. Kumanyika, Nicolas Stettler
Fast-food marketing to children is considered a contributor to childhood obesity. Effects of marketing on parents may also contribute to childhood obesity. The authors explore relevant hypotheses with data from caregivers of 2- to 12-year-old children in medically underserved communities. The results have implications for obesity-related public policies and social marketing strategies.
Courting Customers: Assessing Consumer Racial Profiling and Other Marketplace Discrimination
Anne-Marie G. Harris, Geraldine R. Henderson, Jerome D. Williams
Through an examination of 81 federal court decisions made between 1990 and 2002 involving customers’ allegations of race and/or ethnic discrimination, the authors uncover three emergent dimensions of discrimination: (1) the type of alleged discrimination (subtle or overt), (2) the level of service (degradation or denial), and (3) the existence of criminal suspicion in the alleged discriminatory conduct (present or absent). Using a framework that enables the categorization and aggregation of cases with common themes, the authors demonstrate that real and perceived consumer discrimination remains a problem in the U.S. marketplace, and they conclude that further research is necessary for marketers to address the issue effectively.
Race and Ideology: African-American Images in Television Advertising
Julia M. Bristor, Renée Gravois Lee, Michelle R. Hunt
Although the numerical representation of African-Americans in contemporary television advertising has improved in recent years, the authors’ analysis illustrates how the potentially positive effects of including more African-Americans in advertisements are often mitigated by subtle racist elements that suggest African-American inferiority. Using an interpretive approach, the authors cast the problem within a framework of racism as ideology, that is, the dominant white ideology pervading the advertising industry. Their discussion of six themes identified in their analysis of prime-time television commercials serves to highlight problematic images of African-Americans that continue to persist in contemporary advertising. In the spirit of self-regulation, the authors suggest actions that the advertising industry can take to present more positive and varied portrayals of minority populations.
Cultural Diversity in Television Narratives: Homophilization, Appropriation, and Implications for Media Advocacy
Cristel Antonia Russell, Hope Jensen Schau, David Crockett
This research explores the role of cultural diversity in the construction of consumer identity, and in particular, how cultural diversity is appropriated through television viewing. Data based on depth interviews and surveys of young adults who created brand collages centered on a television-based character reveal that viewers identify and engage with television narratives through a process of “homophilization”; that is, they actively envision various features of television narratives as similar to themselves and their own lived experiences. The data also show that homophilizing processes are enacted primarily by customizing the narrative, or textual poaching, in which the consumers insert themselves and their experiences into the narrative, and that consumption choices serve as primary mechanisms for poaching. Because media narratives are important in the formation and maintenance of consumer identity, the authors strongly recommend vigilance in the production and dissemination of socially conscious narratives that allow prosocial and realistic characters with whom consumers can actively engage.
Racially Exclusive Real Estate Advertising: Public Policy Implications for Fair Housing Practices
Jerome D. Williams, William J. Quails, Sonya A. Grier
The authors ‘field experiment indicates that including African-Americans in real estate advertisements produces a positive effect for (1) African-American readers in terms of liking the models pictured in the photographs and (2) African-American high ethnic identifiers in terms of identifying with the models pictured in the photographs. However, based on responses to the dependent measures of behavioral purchase intentions and attitude toward the advertising campaign, message, and product, the results do not support the hypothesis that racially exclusive advertising sends a racially exclusive message. A follow-up content analysis of real estate newspaper advertising suggests that cities with higher percentages of ethnic minorities are more responsive to including more ethnic minorities in real estate advertisements. However, the results do not show evidence of a chilling effect, that is, a reduction in the use of real estate advertisements with models.
Marketing, Minorities, and Consumption: Traditional and Neo-Marxist Perspectives
Elizabeth C. Hirschman
This paper presents a partial framework for consumption resource distribution among American ethnic groups based upon propositions relevant to current marketing practices. An aggregative analytical posture is used and implications for public policy initiatives are suggested. Normative and positive aspects of the discussion are derived from both traditional and neo-Marxist thought.