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Normalizing the Natural : A study of menstrual product destigmatization

Klintner, Louise LU (2021) In Lund Studies in Economics and Management
Abstract
In this thesis, I develop our understanding of the destigmatization process to include product destigmatization. Previous research on destigmatization has primarily focused on that of individuals, groups, organizations, and industries. However, there is an abundance of empirical evidence showing that a product stigma has a significant bearing on market logics, including legal classification of products, marketing challenges, as well as a lack of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Around 300 million people menstruate on any given day around the world, yet the market for menstrual products consists predominantly of homogeneous products that have been around since the late 1800s or early 1900s. Simultaneously, there is a surprising... (More)
In this thesis, I develop our understanding of the destigmatization process to include product destigmatization. Previous research on destigmatization has primarily focused on that of individuals, groups, organizations, and industries. However, there is an abundance of empirical evidence showing that a product stigma has a significant bearing on market logics, including legal classification of products, marketing challenges, as well as a lack of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Around 300 million people menstruate on any given day around the world, yet the market for menstrual products consists predominantly of homogeneous products that have been around since the late 1800s or early 1900s. Simultaneously, there is a surprising lack of regulations and standards, in particular on a global level, ensuring a widespread safety for so many users around the world. Other products used on or intimately with the body are generally heavily regulated and/or standardized. In a pilot study investigating these seemingly contradicting notions, I found that one of the most fundamental reasons for the status quo is grounded in the stigma on menstruation and menstrual products.

Through a multi-method approach, combining aspects of case research, action research, and document studies, I examined the menstrual product field from a synthesis of theory including stigma, destigmatization, and neo-institutional. I developed a framework through which product destigmatization can be understood. Therein, I emphasize three primary mechanisms driving product destigmatization, and how they act on all three levels of society. The mechanisms comprise reclassifying, framing, and claiming agency.

My main contributions are threefold. First, I deliver a comprehensive study on destigmatization that includes different dynamics and levels, which has not been done previously, in particular regarding menstrual products. Secondly, I find that in contrast to what previous research demonstrates, destigmatization processes do not only occur from the top-down, but also through bottom-up initiatives. Finally, I advance our understanding of the role of organizations, including entrepreneurs, and their innovative capacities to affect institutional change. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
I denna avhandling utvecklar jag förståelsen kring avstigmatiseringsprocesser till att inkludera produkters avstigmatisering. Tidigare forskning kring avstigmatisering har främst fokuserat på individer, grupper, organisationer och industrier. Dock finns det en mängd empiriskt bevis som vittnar om att produktstigma har signifikanta effekter på marknadslogiker, inklusive enligt lag bestämda produktklassificeringar, marknadsföringsutmaningar, samt brister på innovation och entreprenörskap.

Runt 300 miljoner personer menstruerar varje dag runt om i världen. Trots detta, består marknaden för mensprodukter primärt av homogena produkter som har funnits sedan sent 1800-tal eller tidigt 1900-tal. Samtidigt finns det en förvånansvärd brist... (More)
I denna avhandling utvecklar jag förståelsen kring avstigmatiseringsprocesser till att inkludera produkters avstigmatisering. Tidigare forskning kring avstigmatisering har främst fokuserat på individer, grupper, organisationer och industrier. Dock finns det en mängd empiriskt bevis som vittnar om att produktstigma har signifikanta effekter på marknadslogiker, inklusive enligt lag bestämda produktklassificeringar, marknadsföringsutmaningar, samt brister på innovation och entreprenörskap.

Runt 300 miljoner personer menstruerar varje dag runt om i världen. Trots detta, består marknaden för mensprodukter primärt av homogena produkter som har funnits sedan sent 1800-tal eller tidigt 1900-tal. Samtidigt finns det en förvånansvärd brist på regleringar och standards, i synnerhet på global nivå, som ska säkerställa en bred säkerhet för alla dessa användare världen över. Andra produkter som används så nära inpå eller inuti kroppen är generellt sett kraftigt reglerade och/eller standardiserade. I en pilotstudie där jag undersöker dessa tillsynes motsägelsefulla koncept fann jag att en av de mest fundamentala anledningar för status quo är stigmat kring mens och mensprodukter.

Genom att använda mig av flera olika metoder där jag kombinerade aspekter från fallstudier, aktionsforskning, och dokumentstudier, undersökte jag mensproduktsfältet från en syntes av teori som inkluderar stigma, avstigmatisering, och neoinstitutionell teori. Jag utvecklade ett ramverk genom vilket produktavstigmatisering kan förstås. I ramverket betonar jag tre primära mekanismer som driver på produktavstigmatiseringen, samt hur dessa tar sig uttryck på alla tre nivåer i samhället. Dessa mekanismer består av om klassificering, associering, och att påkalla agentskap.

Jag har framkallat tre stycken huvudbidrag till forskning. För det första levererar jag en omfattande studie om avstigmatisering som inkluderar olika dynamiker och nivåer, vilket inte har gjorts tidigare, framför allt inte kring mensprodukter. För det andra finner jag, i kontrast med tidigare forskning, att avstigmatiseringsprocesser inte endast sker uppifrån och ner, utan även nerifrån och upp. För det tredje och sista utvecklar jag vår förståelse för organisationers roll, inklusive entreprenörer, och deras innovativa kapaciteter att påverka institutionell förändring. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Muhr, Sara Louise, Copenhagen Business School
organization
alternative title
Normaliseringen av det Naturliga : En studie om avstigmatiseringen av mensprodukter
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
stigma, avstigmatisering, mensprodukter, produktstigma, Stigma, Destigmatization, Normalization, Product stigma, Product Destigmatization, Menstrual products, Menstrual Hygiene Products: classification, Female Hygiene Products
in
Lund Studies in Economics and Management
issue
150
pages
320 pages
publisher
MediaTryck Lund
defense location
Rhenmansalen/Alfa 5:B413
defense date
2021-04-16 13:15:00
ISBN
978-91-7895-780-4
978-91-7895-779-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
930adfaf-ead2-469a-8821-1ad19ac2827a
date added to LUP
2021-03-26 15:58:36
date last changed
2021-03-29 08:29:08
@phdthesis{930adfaf-ead2-469a-8821-1ad19ac2827a,
  abstract     = {In this thesis, I develop our understanding of the destigmatization process to include product destigmatization. Previous research on destigmatization has primarily focused on that of individuals, groups, organizations, and industries. However, there is an abundance of empirical evidence showing that a product stigma has a significant bearing on market logics, including legal classification of products, marketing challenges, as well as a lack of innovation and entrepreneurship. <br/><br/>Around 300 million people menstruate on any given day around the world, yet the market for menstrual products consists predominantly of homogeneous products that have been around since the late 1800s or early 1900s. Simultaneously, there is a surprising lack of regulations and standards, in particular on a global level, ensuring a widespread safety for so many users around the world. Other products used on or intimately with the body are generally heavily regulated and/or standardized. In a pilot study investigating these seemingly contradicting notions, I found that one of the most fundamental reasons for the status quo is grounded in the stigma on menstruation and menstrual products. <br/><br/>Through a multi-method approach, combining aspects of case research, action research, and document studies, I examined the menstrual product field from a synthesis of theory including stigma, destigmatization, and neo-institutional. I developed a framework through which product destigmatization can be understood. Therein, I emphasize three primary mechanisms driving product destigmatization, and how they act on all three levels of society. The mechanisms comprise reclassifying, framing, and claiming agency. <br/><br/>My main contributions are threefold. First, I deliver a comprehensive study on destigmatization that includes different dynamics and levels, which has not been done previously, in particular regarding menstrual products. Secondly, I find that in contrast to what previous research demonstrates, destigmatization processes do not only occur from the top-down, but also through bottom-up initiatives. Finally, I advance our understanding of the role of organizations, including entrepreneurs, and their innovative capacities to affect institutional change.},
  author       = {Klintner, Louise},
  isbn         = {978-91-7895-780-4},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  number       = {150},
  publisher    = {MediaTryck Lund},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Studies in Economics and Management},
  title        = {Normalizing the Natural : A study of menstrual product destigmatization},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/95803065/opponent_och_e_spik_ex_Louise.pdf},
  year         = {2021},
}