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Reclaiming the witch: Processes and heroic outcomes of consumer mythopoesis

Zanette, M. C., Rinallo, D. & Mimoun, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-5173-312X (2022). Reclaiming the witch: Processes and heroic outcomes of consumer mythopoesis. Marketing Theory, 23(1), pp. 163-182. doi: 10.1177/14705931221124044


Although previous research has investigated consumer mythopoesis (consumers’ identity work using marketplace myths), little is known about its enactment involving ambiguous myths. Here, we investigate the myth of the witch (predominantly depicted by dominant mythmakers as a villain but recently repositioned more positively) and describe how consumers reclaim the empowering and heroic aspects of the ambiguous witch myth. Based on a qualitative study using archival data and in-depth interviews with self-proclaimed witches, we argue that the witch’s ambiguity originates in different mythopoetic cycles. Then, we describe the following processes through which consumers reclaim positive cycles: incarnating the myth, coming out to selected others and practising myth-related craft. Finally, we show that reclaiming results in new forms of heroic agency that amplify the myth’s ambiguity and identity value. Our results reveal that consumers cope with market-wide paradoxical injunctions, stressful situations and marginalisation by transforming these pressures into acts of self-heroism.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: D 1st date email 09/02/23 MB Author sent the AAM, item replaced. Previous notes: A 2nd author email 07/02/23 MB A 1st author email, 16/1/23, RL.
Publisher Keywords: Consumer mythopoesis, identity work, marketplace myths, witch, intersectionality, LGBTQIA+, consumer identity politics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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