Edited by Susan Dobscha
Chapter 12: Towards (and beyond) LGBTQ+ studies in marketing and consumer research
This chapter provides a critical review of marketing and consumer research on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, and other non-heterosexuals (LGBTQ+). We identify five underdeveloped areas in this literature: a lack of research beyond urban Anglo-American consumer cultures; a focus on gay men at the expense of other LGBTQ+ consumers; a paucity of theorizations that consider how sexual identities intersect with race, class, and other markers of difference; a dominance of subculture-theory enabled studies assuming that non-heterosexuals are universally stigmatized; and an opportunity for interdisciplinary research that engages with insights from sociology, psychology, and geography. We trace the historical origins of sexual identities as modern categories and the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. We furthermore suggest how marketers and consumer researchers could surpass the limitations of existing literature towards LGBTQ+ studies and beyond, and highlight the relevance of such research within wider discussions regarding sexual identities, sexual practices, and sexualized/gendered bodies and places.
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