Innocuous while sturdy rebellion: why social stigma leads to absurd consumption

  • Jingyi Joanne ZHANG (Speaker)

Activity: Talks or PresentationsOther Invited Talks or Presentations


Absurd products refer to those characterized by a design philosophy that emphasizes extreme irrationality, incongruity, and nonsensicality. It has gained attention as a burgeoning phenomenon in contemporary markets, captivating a group of loyal consumers. Yet, the rationale behind this affinity remains a topic to be fully explored. The current research posits that compare with ordinary people, more stigmatized individuals (we focus on sexual minority in this research) are more attracted to absurdity as a way of evading the pressure brought about by the discrepancy between social norms and the actual self. In addition, we further identify a socially innocuous way consumers use to confront conventional social evaluation through consumption. We utilize a serial of studies including survey and behavioral experiment to explore the mechanism underlying social stigma and absurd consumption. Furthermore, our findings can also shed light on the importance of recognizing and respecting individual differences in a society that values conformity.
Period26 Apr 2023
Event titlePostgraduate Seminar Series
Event typePublic Lecture