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Title: The ‘Abject’ Single: Exploring the Gendered Experience of Singleness in Britain
Authors: Lai, Ai-Ling
Higgins, Matthew
Lim, Ming
First Published: 7-Aug-2015
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge) for Academy of Marketing
Citation: Journal of Marketing Management, 2015
Abstract: This paper explores the gendered experience of singleness in Britain through a theoretical and empirical understanding of the abject. Drawing on the writings of Judith Butler, we argue that singleness is culturally pathologised as an abject ‘other’, a liminal state which renders the legitimation of the single subject unintelligible. Through 14 active interviews with British singles, we demonstrate how our participants negotiate their marginal status vis-à-vis the marketplace and the broader society that continue to uphold heterosexual partnership as a normative form of intimacy. Our data uncovers persistent and powerful gender stereotypes of how singles ought to organise their lives and conform both to social, as well as market-driven pressures. We therefore highlight research gaps in the experience of singleness and critique the heteronormative framework that remains dominant, yet concealed, in gender research.
DOI Link: 10.1080/0267257X.2015.1073170
ISSN: 0267-257X
eISSN: 1472-1376
Embargo on file until: 7-Feb-2017
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © 2015 Westburn Publishers Ltd. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Marketing Management on 07 August 2015, available online:
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

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