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

52 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


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 emphasizes the perspective of the stigma target, with some scholars exploring how social institutions shape stigma. Yet the ways stakeholders within the socio-commercial sphere create, perpetuate, or resist stigma remain overlooked. We introduce and define marketplace stigma as the labeling, stereotyping, and devaluation by and of commercial stakeholders (consumers, companies and their employees, stockholders, institutions) and their offerings (products, services, experiences). We offer the Stigma Turbine (ST) 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 ST, we reveal the critical role market stakeholders can play in (de)stigmatization, explore implications for marketing practice and public policy, and offer a research agenda to further our understanding of marketplace stigma and stakeholder welfare.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-184
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Public Policy and Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2016


  • marketplace stigma
  • stigma turbine
  • discrimination
  • intersectionality


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