Consumption As a Strategy For Stigma Management

Elizabeth Crosby, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Cele C. Otnes, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
People often rely on the consumption (or anti-consumption) of goods, services and experiences to help them manage stigma. This paper discusses four categories of consumption-related coping strategies across contexts that emerge after an analysis of consumers’ narratives of stigmatized experiences. These four categories are: concealmeant, reduction, redirection and disclosure. These strategies reveal consumers are quite conscious of the signaling effect of consumption as they attempt to de-emphasize or in some cases, to highlight their stigmas. The implications of these strategies for consumer welfare are discussed.
[ to cite ]:
Elizabeth Crosby and Cele C. Otnes (2010) ,"Consumption As a Strategy For Stigma Management", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 28-31 .