CFP: Special Issue on Marketing and the LGBT Community

germanyA reminder … deadline for submissions is the
1 December 2015

Call for Papers: “Marketing and the LGBT Community: Twenty Years On

Twenty years ago the Journal of Homosexuality published a seminal special issue looking at marketing and consumer behaviour amongst gay and lesbian consumers (published simultaneously as a book by Routledge). After two decades it is timely to publish a second special issue, focussing on the developments and advancements in marketing and consumer research and reflecting the changed socio-political environment of consumption behaviour of and marketing practices targeting LGBT individuals.

In the ‘90s LGBT consumers emerged as an allegedly near mystical consumer group: educated, urban consumers with sophisticated taste, high disposable incomes and were generally regarded as opinion leaders for desirable consumer goods. Many welcomed targeting, and increased visibility, of the LGBT community as a sign of growing political and social acceptance and validation. However, commercialisation has also been contentious and critical voices warned about the influence it would have on the LGBT community. E.g. some academics feared commercial interests would result in “a privatized, depoliticized gay culture anchored in domesticity and consumption.” (Duggan, 2002).

Others have argued that since the 1990s, Western societies transited into a Post-Gay phase, where diverse sexual orientations are no longer relevant, and LGBT individuals have “moved beyond the gay-only ghetto (…) [and into] a world where we are free, equal and safe to live our lives” (Collard, 1998). Thus, traditional consumption spaces and practices linked to lesbian and gay consumers, such as gay neighbourhoods, have been claimed to have lost their meaning (Ghaziani, 2010), and gay consumers have been assimilated into the mainstream. Simultaneously, marketers have become more comfortable with displaying LGBT characters in mainstream marketing campaigns, and overtly supporting LGBT activities (such as pride parades).

It is evident that LGBT consumption behaviour and marketing towards, or involving LGBT consumers, has significantly changed since the 1990s, and has evolved into multifaceted behaviours, spheres and spaces.

This special issue aims to bring together currently fragmented and disparate strands of research, The aim of the special issue is to advance our knowledge of the multifaceted contemporary consumption practices and stimulate debate across disciplines about the effects of, among others, commercialised gay spaces, alternative consumption practices linked to LGBT identity construction, anti-consumerist behaviour in and marketization of LGBT spaces, assimilation of the “gay community”, pinkwashing and other relevant topics.

Anticipated themes cover a wide variety of different topic areas, and include, but are not restricted to:

  • Contemporary LGBT identity construction through consumption
  • Consumption practices, including anti-consumption movements linked to the wider LGBT context
  • Alternative forms of LGBT identity expression and diversity of the LGBT “community”
  • LGBT identity in marketing and corporate social reasonability campaigns
  • Acceptance, Assimilation and Discrimination in the market place
  • International and cross-cultural comparisons of LGBT consumption behaviour
  • Social Marketing and health-related marketing aimed at LGBT individuals
  • Influence of social media on LGBT consumption and identity

To submit to the special issue, please send completed articles, of 6000-8000 words to me directly (sd@dahl.at) by 1 December 2015. Manuscripts should follow APA Publication Manual, 6th edition, and the style guidelines of the journal available here.
If you have any questions about the special issue, please just get in contact with me!

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