Courtesy Stigma Management : Social Identity Work among China’s ‘Leftover Women’

Liu, Chih-Ling and Kozinets, Robert (2022) Courtesy Stigma Management : Social Identity Work among China’s ‘Leftover Women’. Journal of Consumer Research, 49 (2). 312–335. ISSN 0093-5301

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Prior consumer research has tended to focus on identity-related stigma management of individuals toward their own stigma. However, little is known about the consumption-related identity work that stigmatized individuals undertake to discharge the courtesy stigma attached to close associates such as family members. Courtesy stigma refers to the discredit directed toward people who are closely associated with a stigmatized individual or group. Drawing on interview, ethnographic, and netnographic data on China’s ‘Leftover Women,’ our research analyzes the personal and, more centrally, the social identity work related consumption counternarratives that these women construct—through combinations of specific kinds of consumption and gift-giving practices—to counteract family and courtesy stigma. Counternarratives are the resistance stories that people tell and live to either implicitly or explicitly challenge the dominant cultural narrative. The findings of our investigation help to build an enhanced understanding of how stigmatized individuals act as consumers in the market and via digital channels to tackle the family identity challenges of courtesy stigma that have not been explored in extant studies of consumer stigma identity work.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Consumer Research
Additional Information:
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Consumer Research following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Chihling Liu, Robert V Kozinets, Courtesy Stigma Management: Social Identity Work among China’s “Leftover Women”, Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 49, Issue 2, August 2022, Pages 312–335, is available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? courtesy stigmafamily identitysocial identitystigmacounternarrativeseconomics and econometricsbusiness and international managementmarketing ??
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Deposited On:
27 Oct 2021 14:25
Last Modified:
21 Jul 2024 00:50