Microaggression and the Marketplace

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  • Title: Microaggression and the Marketplace: Implications in the Age of Globalism
  • Author(s): Mary Ellen Schiller
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Global Studies
  • Journal Title: The Global Studies Journal
  • Keywords: Microaggression, Marketing Communications, Diverse Markets, Globalism
  • Volume: 10
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2017
  • ISSN: 1835-4432 (Print)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1835-4432/CGP/v10i01/25-37
  • Citation: Schiller, Mary Ellen. 2017. "Microaggression and the Marketplace: Implications in the Age of Globalism." The Global Studies Journal 10 (1): 25-37. doi:10.18848/1835-4432/CGP/v10i01/25-37.
  • Extent: 12 pages


This study emerges from an understanding of the concept of racial microaggression and from questions arising about the ways in which it might be perceived to exist and manifest across the spectrum of marketing-related communications. The term “racial microaggression” was proposed originally during the 1970s by Chester M. Pierce, a psychiatrist, and referred to as subtle, mundane verbal or non-verbal indignities directed toward black Americans, and, generally, not recognized as such by their perpetrators. In more recent years, researchers have expanded the parameters of research, examining microaggression toward other marginalized populations, predicated on gender, culture, sexual identity/orientation, or disability. In this context, various studies have examined the phenomenon in academic, professional, social and public settings, and it has been the focus of active discussion in academic and professional circles. Given the ubiquity of marketing-related communications, both verbal and nonverbal, delivered through a variety of mediated and in-person experiences, and their immense influence on consumer thought and behavior, it is, thus, inviting to turn a lens in that direction. A racially- and culturally-diverse group of graduate students in integrated marketing communications were asked their perceptions of the existence of microaggression (broadly interpreted, extending beyond race) in marketing communications, and to describe the ways in which they see it expressed. Further, the implications for marketers in the age of increasing market diversity both domestically and internationally are identified.