Gendered scholarship: exploring the implications for consumer behaviour research

Payal Kumar & Sanjeev Varshney, (2012),”Gendered scholarship: exploring the implications for consumer
behaviour research”, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, Emerald, Vol. 31 Iss: 7 pp. 612 – 632

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility of whether more representation of gendered scholarship could enrich the traditional framework of consumer behaviour – a discipline that lacks consensus on epistemology and is also starved of theory building – by means of critical introspection leading to new managerial solutions, new methods and theory building.

Design/methodology/approach – The quantitative approach involved a content analysis of three leading journals in the consumer behaviour discipline from 2006 to 2010: the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Consumer Psychology and the Journal of Consumer Affairs, in order to ascertain how much research represents a gendered perspective. The qualitative approach involved analyzing the papers from a gendered perspective, to see if the papers were more conceptual or based
on applied research, and to gauge the type of methodologies used.

Findings – From 2006 to 2010 it was found that only an average of 2.4 per cent of 369 abstracts in JCR, 4 per cent of 224 abstracts in JCP and 5.8 per cent of 138 abstracts in JCA are from a gendered perspective. Approximately 25 per cent of the papers are steeped in applied research, while 75 per cent verify existing theories or expand to them.

Research limitations/implications – The authors’ qualitative analysis brings forward new results, namely that the very feministic perspective that has the potential to bring forth greater introspection in the consumer behavior research, namely feminist postmodernism, is in fact the least represented, with only one such paper out of 731, which is a possible wake-up call for feminist scholars. The authors conclude that the scope of the traditional paradigm can be enlarged by gendered scholarship.

Originality/value – The paper represents a major effort to present the importance of including gendered perspective articles in marketing journals, to provide an analysis of the lack of a gendered perspective in papers published by three leading consumer-based journals, and to determine whether a gendered perspective can enrich the traditional framework.

Keywords Consumer behaviour, Research work, Journals, Epistemology, Feminism, Gendered scholarship, Theory building, Research methodology, Feminist narratives, Postmodernism


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