Women's bodies as sites of control: Inadvertent stigma and exclusion in social marketing

Lauren Gurrieri, Josephine Previte, Janice Valerie Fordyce Brace-Govan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Responding to the call for critical examinations of the inadvertent effects of marketing (Dholakia 2012), this article offers an examination of the underexplored impacts of social marketing campaigns that derive from government-defined agendas of healthism. Specifically, we examine how efforts aimed at the management of women s bodies can inadvertently render them sites of control. Drawing on embodiment theory, we consider how the neoliberal body project positions certain bodies as less acceptable, leaving women who engage in activities that run counter to prevailing health messages vulnerable to stigmatization and exclusion. Through three body control projects - breastfeeding, weight management, and physical activity - and a critical visual analysis of social marketing campaigns, we contend that the emerging field of critical social marketing must develop a broader social justice agenda along the lines of macromarketing. In doing so, consumers corporeal representations and lived experiences will be better addressed and improved evaluations of social marketing s societal impacts can be developed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128 - 143
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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