Stigmas that matter: Diffracting marketing stigma theoretics

Shona Bettany, Jack Coffin, Christian Eichert, David Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The rich tradition of stigma theoretics in marketing and consumer research develops understanding of consumer stigma management, mitigated via marketing-mediated solutions, broadly within a Goffmanian liberal frame. However, building on classic liberal formulations of stigma, sociologists of stigma further examine the impact of the neoliberal political economy in terms of where stigma is produced, by whom and for what purposes. Using the empirical illustration of the emergence of HIV PreExposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), this paper seeks to develop these stigma theoretics towards the concept of stigma diffraction exploring the multiple stigma effects that can be identified and conceptualised through a diffractive lens. This encompasses and theorises beyond traditionally stigmatised contexts, groups and individuals to conceptualise a dynamic and diverse field of ‘stigmas that matter’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-518
Number of pages18
JournalMarketing Theory
Issue number4
Early online date25 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


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