Legitimatizing an Emergent Social Identity Through Marketplace Performances

Gokcen Coskuner-Balli , University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Craig Thompson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
This paper explores the creation and legitimization of a non-traditional gender identity through marketplace performances. Through exploring the consumption practices of Stay-at-Home Dads, we discuss social and cultural barriers that consumers confront when attempting to legitimize new social identities. We interrogate the co-creation strategies that Stay-at-Home Dads employ to legitimize an alternative social identity and to overcome social and cultural barriers to the effective social performance of an unconventional gender role. Our analysis indicates that legitimization performances are implicated in collective struggles to transform gender-based social expectations and to mobilize market resources in ways that support and enhance these performances through communal, political, entrepreneurial and masculinizing strategies. For these consumers, the marketplace is a political forum for creating social scripts and resources through which an emergent identity project can be performed and that also seek to legitimate those divergent performances in their social spheres.
[ to cite ]:
Gokcen Coskuner-Balli and Craig Thompson (2009) ,"Legitimatizing an Emergent Social Identity Through Marketplace Performances", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 135-138.