The special issue on
Gender and Macromarketing was published in the Journal of Macromarketing in December 2020.
The issue, co-edited by Lauren Gurrieri, Jo Previte, and Andy Prothero, features nine articles in the domain of gender and macromarketing. See below for the abstract and direct link to each article (listed in the order they appear in the special issue).
Hidden in Plain Sight: Building Visibility for Critical Gender Perspectives Exploring Markets, Marketing and Society In this introduction to the special issue on gender and macromarketing, we explore how gender research within the journal has remained “hidden in plain sight”; and, offer concrete proposals to build visibility for critical gender perspectives which explore markets, marketing and society. This introduction is divided into four sections. First, we examine existing research in the journal which has focused on gender. Next, we provide a summary of the eight articles published in this special issue. We then examine systemic gender inequalities and injustices currently evidenced within macromarketing. Finally, we proffer suggestions for future gender research directions within the journal, alongside our reflections on addressing the problematic gendered dynamics that persist within the journal and the Macromarketing Society.
The Uniform Entrepreneur: Making Gender Visible in Social Enterprise This paper extends the macromarketing debates on gender by considering how gender ideology acts as a macro-level constraint to developing sustainable initiatives. While the macromarketing literature has long considered the significance of social enterprise and nonprofits, gender has not been theorized within these studies. In redressing this gap we examine the case of the Uniform Project, spearheaded by disaffected advertising executive and enthusiastic social entrepreneur, Sheena Matheiken. Our critical interrogation of the project shows that Matheiken’s path to becoming entrepreneurial “woman of the year” reinforces a gendered model of social entrepreneurship. We also expose the role of media and the forums designed to encourage social innovations in gendering, thus stifling, a social enterprise. We reaffirm the importance of theorizing gender ideology in macromarketing and submit that any such theorization must recognize and account for the ways that gender intersects with neoliberal ideology to permeate markets, marketing and social enterprise.
Malay Muslim Religious Ideology: Representations of Gendered Beauty Ideals in Women’s Magazines Responding to Drenten and McManus (2016) call on the lack of scholarship on the intersections of macromarketing and religion, this article uses magazines to demonstrate how beauty discourses reinforce or contest religious ideology in Malaysia. We draw from institutional logics to show how magazine discourses present macrolevel belief systems that can both shape and constrain the micro level behaviour of women. We identify three dialectical tensions of gendered beauty ideals as firstly both something that is embraced and something that is imposed; secondly it is collectively and individually displayed in fashion and thirdly offers contradictory discourses over blending-in versus standing-out in physical appearance. This study supplements the very limited literature on how the media as an institutional and social structure injects religious ideology to gendered representations of beauty ideals.
#dadtribe: Performing Sharenting Labour to Commercialise Involved Fatherhood This study looks at new developments in the commercial representation of fatherhood as exemplified by ‘Instadads’—a group of father influencers who use Instagram to document their family lives and foster a following that is attractive to brand sponsorship. With a netnography of 21 Instadad accounts and 10 in-depth interviews, we investigate how these influencers perform sharenting labour, which is the labour involved in commodifying and monetising the sharing of parental experiences. We posit that through this labour, father influencers contribute to early attempts at translating the new discursive territory of involved fatherhood into mainstream commercial representations. Sharenting labour has the potential to shift discourses on masculinities, lending more legitimacy to male parental caregiving activities.
Women’s Empowerment at the Moroccan Supermarket: An Ethnographic Account of Achieved Capabilities and Altered Social Relations in an Emerging Retail Servicescape This study bridges CCT and macromarketing perspectives in carrying out an ethnographic study examining how Moroccan women empower themselves in shopping in the supermarket. Our three-year ethnographic study in Casablanca among women and men illuminates the ways in which women develop new capabilities and alter social relations with family members, friends, store employees and customers. In turn, the interplay of women’s competencies, their interactions with men and women, and their socio-demographics of age and social class, together with supermarket characteristics, provide favorable conditions for the women to empower themselves. As women gain confidence to demonstrate their competencies and manifest their desires in leveraging their traditional nurturing roles and taking on tasks previously in the domain of men, they alter their relations with their husband and with the women who exercise control over them. Theoretical contributions contribute to knowledge of the importance of gender and family interactions as they impact the acquisition of key competencies in novel marketspaces through which women empower themselves, and generate further insight into the complex interweaving of market and social systems.
Institutional Logics, Gender, and Advertising Within a Culture in Transition: Examining Strategies of Advertising Professionals in Turkey for Managing Institutional Complexity Advertisers face longstanding challenges—perhaps more acute under shifting cultural and gender forces such as the global #metoo movement—in creating gendered messages. This research builds on work at the intersection of gender, advertising and institutions, which bridges macro and micro issues faced by advertising professionals, to explore the unique East-West context of Turkey. Using institutional theory as a lens to examine a context in transition, this research illustrates how macro forces permeate four logics from which advertising professionals draw, specifically logics of: gender roles, power, duality, and risk. It further identifies strategies that advertising professionals utilize to manage increasing institutional complexity when creating gendered messages amidst competing logics. This study contributes to an understanding of how advertising professionals engage in institutional work within broader macro realities and the impact this has on the creation of gendered messages in society. Implications for consumer welfare, particularly regarding gender relations, are offered.
Male Compensatory Consumption in American History The overcompensation thesis posits that men react to gender insecurities by demonstrating their masculinity in extreme ways, some of which include highly gendered forms of consumer behavior known as male compensatory consumption. Though such consumption can be relatively benign, even healthy and positive, several forms of male compensatory behavior might harm public safety, the environment, and social accord. Support for the thesis exists, but is not overwhelming and further research is needed. This article approaches compensatory consumption in the United States from a historical perspective. It presents evidence from four separate periods – circa 1900, the 1930s, the 1950s, and circa 2000 – showing cultural continuities and change in the meaning of masculinity, but also similarities and differences in the perceived threats, the groups of men most affected, and their responses. These historical findings provide macromarketing insights into the societal consequences of market behavior.
Problematizing the Postfeminist Gaze: A Critical Exploration of Young Women’s Readings of Gendered Power Relations in Advertising This article explores young women’s engagements with gendered power relations embedded in advertising. Drawing on four case studies, we demonstrate how their readings of gendered ads are informed by postfeminist discourse, which, for all its contradictions, presents gender inequality as a thing of the past. Specifically, we illustrate and theorize the problematic workings of a postfeminist gaze directed at both models in ads and young women as readers of ads, with judgements shaped by postfeminist ideals and blind spots concerning intersections of gender, class, and race. We contribute to macromarketing scholarship by (1) illustrating how, in the context of gendered ads and young American women, gendered power relations and a postfeminist sensibility are both produced by and productive of gendered readers; and (2) highlighting the insidious nature and limitations of this sensibility informing young women’s lived experiences, engagements with media culture, and position in society.
Structures, Systems and Differences that Matter: Casting an Ecological-Intersectionality Perspective on Female Subsistence Farmers’ Experiences of the Climate Crisis Based on research with subsistence farmers in Kenya, this article applies a gender and ecological-informed intersectionality lens to explores how and why overlapping modes of social injustices and ecological conditions augment subsistence female farmers’ vulnerability and shape their (non)adaptive responses to the climate crisis. We uncover the inter-locking and underlying social/ecological power dynamics at macro (global; biosphere), meso (country; local ecosystems), and micro (interpersonal, personal; inter-populations/communities of organisms) levels, revealing how these human- and natural-world elements intra-act and affect consumers’ actions/vulnerabilities and undermine the effectiveness of climate-resilient interventions. We call for scholars/practitioners to identify and address intersecting global and localized power dynamics (including their own positions of power), to add a gender- and ecological-focus, and to include the voice and perspective of all participants so that solutions do not increase (gendered) inequalities/inequities or vulnerabilities.