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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-184
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Public Policy and Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Discrimination
  • Intersectionality
  • Marketplace
  • Stereotype
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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