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with the Journal of Marketing Management

Deadline: 11 November 2019

#MeToo and beyond: inequality and injustice in marketing practice and academia

We need to talk about … Sexism, Harassment, Bullying, Discrimination and Othering in Marketing Practice and Academia

There is often a tendency in the marketing discipline to view the social world in largely positive ways. The problem is that we don’t necessarily live in the sterile and perfect world and workplace that we depict in our textbooks, journal articles and conference presentations. Exchange relations are not always equal (Kenny, 2018); marketplace power relationships are frequently skewed (Veer & Golf-Papez, 2018; Yagil, 2017) and we have been selective about the groups and topics we study, preferring to focus on those that keep us firmly within our intellectual and political comfort zones (Hein et al., 2016; Tadajewski et al., 2014). Put simply, epistemological convenience and the practical needs of scholarly life have led us to focus our energies on middle class, white, heterosexual individuals whose affordances ensure they have few problems negotiating the market, working within marketing, retailing and sales organisations or pursuing an academic career (Maclaran, 2015; cf. Grove, 2016; Huopalainen & Satama, 2018). We ignore the vast world of experience outside this narrow realm (Maclaran & Catterall, 2000). We are not alone in approaching society in this way. Other academic specialisms are quick to avoid topics that they deem taboo (Pullen, 2018). But like those currently pushing the boundaries in our sister disciplines, perhaps it is time to stop censoring, editing and cleansing our writing of practices that we find uncomfortable (Pullen, 2018).   

This special issue is a call for more realism in marketing theory, practice and discussions of academic labour and performativity. Put slightly differently, we need to talk about the sexism, harassment, bullying, discrimination and othering found in marketing practice and academia; issues that have been largely marginalised as they ostensibly form part of the ‘private’ lives of individuals (Maclaran & Catterall, 2000). This has led us to avoid engaging with such important, yet disconcerting issues. They involve aspects of our physiology, sexuality and mental health that marketing – including critical marketing – has bypassed (Maclaran, Miller, Parsons & Surman, 2009). If we do not ask difficult questions about the sexism, bullying and discrimination that permeates the marketplace, that regularly confronts practitioners, consumers, academics and students (Baker & Kelan, 2018; Cantrell, 2018; Dizikes & Asimov, 2018; Elraz, 2018; Fischer, 2015; Greenberg, 2018; Houpalainen & Satama, 2018; Larsen, 2017; Martin, 2016; Martin, Woods & Dawkins, 2015; Mclaughlin, Uggen & Blackstone, 2017; Pullen, 2018; Robin, 2018), then our disciplinary outputs telegraph their irrelevance. Confronting these issues, rendering them visible, is the first step in overcoming them. As Maclaran, Miller, Parsons and Surman (2009, p. 724) remind us, ‘it is the cloak of invisibility which allows the dominance of one group over another’ (see also Elraz, 2018). 

So, by realism, we simply mean that the discipline better connects with the experiences of those working in industry, academia, or affected – positively or negatively – by marketing writ large. After all, not all people are recognised as warranting respect and equal treatment by marketing organisations (Kenny, 2018; Maclaran, Stevens & Catterall, 1997), by the consumers they serve (Hamilton, Redman, & McMurray, 2017) or the institutional edifice of academia (Martin, 2016). Arguably, this has been compounded by the growth of nativism, racism and movements away from liberal views that have accompanied the rise of Trump and Brexit (Grey, 2018). Maclaran puts it well when she writes that ‘A new sexism seems to be stalking us’ (2015, p. 1736).  

Possible research questions include:

  • Exploring the experiences and reactions marketers (both practitioners and the marketing academy) have had and continue to have to the #MeToo, #TimesUp and similar socially driven movements?
  • How have changing working practices in academia (e.g. precarious workers, short-term contracts, metrics-driven performance measures) impacted employees’ health and wealth-being?
  • How can marketing contribute to social, sexual and gender justice?
  • How have practitioners noticed, exacerbated or reacted against the sexism, nativism, racism and discrimination witnessed in recent years? If not, why?
  • Other subjects have signalled their recognition of harassment, bullying and othering based on sexuality, gender, race, religion and mental health, but what should we do about these and related issues in marketing?  
  • Furthermore, how can action and justice be enacted in marketing practice and academia?

Since the editors do not wish to be overly prescriptive beyond the broad topics outlined above, we encourage all submissions that deal with – in whatever way and form – issues related to those discussed in this call for papers. Thus, we encourage contributors to submit traditional academic papers, but also encourage other dissemination forms too – for example – essays, personal introspections, poems. Ultimately, we are looking for diversity in terms of content, methodology and the presentation of ideas. For the sake of orientation: topics may include those that deal with harassment, bullying and othering includes practices between employers and employees, students and staff, employee relations, along with staff and external stakeholder interactions to name just a few.* 

An extended bibliography is provided at the end of this call to illustrate the range of topics the Editors had in mind when conceptualising this issue, although this is by no means an exhaustive list.

*  Please note, the Special Issue is not a forum to air personal grievances or make accusations against specific individuals or institutions, and the Special Issue will not accept any such papers into the review process. ​

Journal of Marketing Management

Table of Contents for Journal of Marketing Management. List of articles from both the latest and ahead of print issues.

Language: en-US

Publisher: tandf

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Submission guidelines

Submission Requirements

Authors should submit manuscripts of between 8,000–12,000 words (excluding tables, references, captions, footnotes and endnotes). All submissions must strictly follow the guidelines for the Journal of Marketing Management.

Manuscripts should be submitted online using the Journal of Marketing Management ScholarOne Manuscripts site. New users should first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site submissions should be made via the Author Centre. Authors should prepare and upload two versions of their manuscript. One should be a complete text, while in the second all document information identifying the author should be removed from the files to allow them to be sent anonymously to referees. When uploading files authors will then be able to define the non-anonymous version as “Complete paper with author details”, and the anonymous version as “Main document minus author information”.

To submit your manuscript to the Special Issue choose “Special Issue Article” from the Manuscript Type list when you come to submit your paper. Also, when you come to the ‘Details and Comments’ page, answer ‘yes’ to the question ‘Is this manuscript a candidate for a special issue’ and select the Special Issue Title of #MeToo and beyond in the text field provided.

Technical queries about submissions can be referred to the Editorial Office.


Baker, D.T. & Kelan, E.K. (2018). Splitting and blaming: The psychic life of neoliberal executive women. Human Relations. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726718772010  

Cantrell, K. (2018). #MeToo: Sexual harassment by students can no longer be ignored. Retrieved from: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/metoo-sexual-harassment-students-can-no-longer-be-ignored [Accessed on 28/08/2018].  

Catterall, M., Maclaran, P. & L. Stevens, L. (Eds.) (2000). Marketing and feminism: Current issues and Research. Oxon: Routledge.

Coston, B.M. (2018). Reclaiming My Fear: I Will No Longer Stay Silent About Michael Kimmel. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/@bmcoston/reclaiming-my-fear-i-will-no-longer-stay-silent-about-michael-kimmel-bde8602fee55 [accessed 15/08/2018].    

Crockett, D. (2008). Marketing blackness: How advertisers use race to sell products. Journal of Consumer Culture, 8(2), 245-268. https://doi.org/10.1177/1469540508090088

Dick, K. (2015). The Hunting Ground. The Weinstein Company.

Dizikes, C. & Asimov, N. (2018). UC Berkeley suspends professor after ‘pattern of sexual harassment’. Retrieved from: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/UC-Berkeley-suspends-professor-after-pattern-13167314.php [accessed 28/08/2018]. 

Elraz, H. (2018). Identity, mental health and work: How employees with mental health conditions recount stigma and the pejorative discourse of mental illness. Human Relations, 71(5), 722-741. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726717716752      

Fischer, E. (2015). Towards more marketing research on gender inequality. Journal of Marketing Management, 31(15-16), 1718-1722. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2015.1078397

Gopaldas, A., & Siebert, A. (2018). Women over 40, foreigners of color, and other missing persons in globalizing mediascapes: understanding marketing images as mirrors of intersectionality. Consumption Markets & Culture, 1-24. https://doi.org/10.1080/10253866.2018.1462170

Greenberg, Z. (2018). What happens to #MeToo when a feminist is the accused? Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/13/nyregion/sexual-harassment-nyu-female-professor.html [accessed 28/08/2018].

Grey, C. (2018). Does Brexit mean the end for critical management studies in Britain? Organization, 25(5), 662-670. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508418757567

Grove, J. (2016). Female professors ‘pay price for academic citizenship’. Retrieved from: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/female-professors-pay-price-academic-citizenship [accessed 28/08/2018]. 

Hamilton, P., Redman, T., & McMurray, R. (2017). ‘Lower than a snake’s belly’: Discursive constructions of dignity and heroism in low-status garbage work. Journal of Business Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-017-3618-z        

Hein, W., Steinfield, L., Ourahmoune, N., Coleman, C.A., Zayer, L.T., & Littlefield, J. (2016). Gender justice and the market: A transformative consumer research perspective. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 35(2), 223-236. https://doi.org/10.1509/jppm.15.146  

Huopalainen, A.S., & Satama, S.T. (2018). Mothers and researchers in the making: Negotiating ‘new’ motherhood within the ‘new’ academia. Human Relations. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726718764571   

Joy, A., Belk, R.W. & Bhardwaj, R. (2015). Judith Butler on performativity and precarity: Exploratory thoughts on gender and violence in India. Journal of Marketing Management, 31(15-16), 1739-1745. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2015.1076873   

Kenny, K. (2018). Censored: Whistleblowers and impossible speech. Human Relations, 71(8), 1025-1048. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726717733311  

Larsen, G. (2017). ‘It’s a man’s man’s man’s world’: Music groupies and the othering of women in the world of rock. Organization, 24(3), 397-417. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508416689095 

Maclaran, P. (2015). Feminism’s fourth wave: A research agenda for marketing and consumer research. Journal of Marketing Management, 31(15-16), 1732-1738. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2015.1076497   

Maclaran, P., & Catterall, M. (2000). Bridging the knowledge divide: Issues on the feminisation of marketing practice. Journal of Marketing Management, 16(6), 635-646. https://doi.org/10.1362/026725700785045958    

Maclaran, P., Miller, C., Parsons, E., & Surman, E. (2009). Praxis or performance: Does critical marketing have a gender blind-spot? Journal of Marketing Management, 25(7-8), 713-728. https://doi.org/10.1362/026725709X471587 

Maclaran, P., Stevens, L., & Catterall, M. (1997). The “glasshouse effect”: Women in marketing management. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 15(7), 309-317. https://doi.org/10.1108/02634509710193145

Manne, K. (2018). Down girl: The logic of misogyny. New York: Oxford University Press.

Martin, A., Woods, M., & Dawkins, S. (2015). Managing employees with mental health issues: Identification of conceptual and procedural knowledge for development within the management education curricula. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 14(1), 50-68. https://doi.org/10.5465/amle.2012.0287     

Martin, P.Y. (2016). The rape prone culture of academic contexts: Fraternities and athletics. Gender & Society, 30(1), 30-43. https://doi.org/10.1177/0891243215612708 

Mclaughlin, H., Uggen, C., & Blackstone, A. (2017). The economic and career effects of sexual harassment on working women. Gender & Society, 31(3), 333-358. https://doi.org/10.1177/0891243217704631   

McLeod, C., O’Donohoe, S., & Townley, B. (2009). The elephant in the room? Class and creative careers in British advertising agencies. Human Relations, 62(7), 1011-1039. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726709335551 

Musto, M., Cooky, C., & Messner, M.A. (2017). “From fizzle to sizzle”: Televised sports news and the production of gender-bland sexism. Gender & Society, 31(5), 573-596. https://doi.org/10.1177/0891243217726056  

Otnes, C. C., & Zayer, L. T. (Eds.) (2012). Gender, culture, and consumer behavior. Chicago: Taylor & Francis.

Özbilgin, M. F., Beauregard, T. A., Tatli, A., & Bell, M. P. (2011). Work–life, diversity and intersectionality: A critical review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews. 13(2), 177-198. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2370.2010.00291.x

Pullen, A. (2018). Writing as Labiaplasty. Organization, 25(1), 123-130. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508417735537 

Robin, C. (2018). The unsexy truth about the Avital Ronell Scandal. Available at: https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Unsexy-Truth-About-the/244314 [accessed 28/08/2018].  

Roulet, T.J., Gill, M.J., Stenger, S., & Gill, D.J. (2017). Reconsidering the value of covert research: The role of ambiguous consent in participant observation. Organizational Research Methods, 20(3), 487-517. https://doi.org/10.1177/1094428117698745

Sanghvi, M., & Hodges, N. (2015). Marketing the female politician: an exploration of gender and appearance. Journal of Marketing Management, 31(15-16), 1676 - 1694. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2015.1074093

Tadajewski, M., Chelekis, J., DeBerry-Spence, B., Figueirdo, B., Kravets, O., Nuttavuthisit, Penaloza, L., & Moisander, J. (2014). The discourses of marketing and development: Towards ‘critical transformative marketing research’. Journal of Marketing Management, 30(17-18), 1728-1771. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2014.952660  

Veer, E. & Golf-Papez, M. (2018). Physically freeing: Breaking taboos through online displays of the sexual self. Journal of Marketing Management. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2018.1484381

Yagil, D. (2017). There is no dark side of customer aggression – It’s all dark. Journal of Marketing Management, 33(15-16), 1413-1420. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2017.1357332    

Editorial information