Race, Marketing, & Markets / Publication Abstract

Operationalizing Critical Race Theory in the Marketplace

Apr 1, 2021

Sonja Martin Poole, Sonya A Grier, Kevin D Thomas, Francesca Sobande, Akon E Ekpo, Lez Trujillo Torres, Lynn A Addington, Melinda Weekes-Laidlow, Geraldine Rosa Henderson

Race, Marketing, & Markets

Abstract

Race is integral to the functioning and ideological underpinnings of marketplace actions yet remains undertheorized in marketing. To understand and transform the insidious ways in which race operates, the authors examine its impact in marketplaces and how these effects are shaped by intersecting forms of systemic oppression. They introduce critical race theory (CRT) to the marketing community as a useful framework for understanding consumers, consumption, and contemporary marketplaces. They outline critical theory traditions as utilized in marketing and specify the particular role of CRT as a lens through which scholars can understand marketplace dynamics. The authors delineate key CRT tenets and how they may shape the way scholars conduct research, teach, and influence practice in the marketing discipline. To clearly highlight CRT’s overall potential as a robust analytical tool in marketplace studies, the authors elaborate on the application of artificial intelligence to consumption markets. This analysis demonstrates how CRT can support an enhanced understanding of the role of race in markets and lead to a more equitable version of the marketplace than what currently exists. Beyond mere procedural modifications, applying CRT to marketplace studies mandates a paradigm shift in how marketplace equity is understood and practiced.

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