Historical Narratives and the Defense of Stigmatized Industries




Smith, Andrew
Wong, Nicholas D.
Sørenson, Anders Ravn
Jones, Ian
Coraiola, Diego M.

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Journal of Management Inquiry


This study examines how managers and entrepreneurs in stigmatized industries use historical narratives to combat stigma. We examine two industries, the private military contractors (PMC) industry in the United States and the cannabis industry in Canada. In recent decades, the representatives of these industries have worked to reduce the level of stigmatization faced by the industries. We show that historical narratives were used rhetorically by the representatives of both industries. In both cases, these historical narratives were targeted at just one subset of the population. Our research contributes to debates about stigmatization in ideologically diverse societies, an important issue that have been overlooked by the existing literature on stigmatized industries, which tends to assume the existence of homogeneous audiences when researching the efforts of industry representatives to destigmatize their industries.



stigma, business & government, business & society, attitudes


Smith, A., Wong, N. D., Sørenson, A. R., Jones, I., & Coraiola, D. M. (2021). Historical narratives and the defense of stigmatized industries. Journal of Management Inquiry, 00(0), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1177/10564926211019481