Professor Sredl researches gender in emerging markets

Professor Sredl researches gender in emerging markets

Professor Sredl's research on gender in global marketing integrates theories from sociology, gender studies and communications

Professor Katherine Sredl recently joined an international group of groundbreaking researchers by being published in the Handbook of Research on Gender and Marketing

Sredl wrote the chapter “Gender East and West: Transnational Gender Theory and Global Marketing Research."

Two other Quinlan marketing professors were also published in the handbook: Professor Jenna Drenten contributed two chapters on gender in gaming and gender in social media, and Professor Linda Tuncay Zayer has a chapter on transformative consumer marketing. 

Sredl discusses her research and her thoughts on the book below.

What do you research?

I research gender in emerging markets, such as Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Brazil, India, China, and other post-socialist economies. I ask how theories of gender, consumer vulnerability, family ritual, and marketing systems can be developed when macro-level changes such as globalization and technological innovation are used as the research context. My research integrates theories from areas such as sociology, gender studies, and communications.

How do you see your research impacting market research?

The handbook chapter offers an approach for meeting the goal of improving women’s lives through the critical analysis, cultural analysis, and transformative agenda of gender and marketing research. I apply a transnational perspective to current global gender and marketing studies. My view calls for local engagement with feminist scholars and activist movements in the post-socialist space. At the same time, my research brings into relief the contributions of feminist thought from this region, especially the focus on the changing role of the state and emerging gendered inequities in the era of neoliberal globalization. I suggest ways that these themes can influence gender and marketing research in other parts of the world. I hope to bring the post-socialist space and other spaces that tend to not fit the Third/First World binary, into the fold of global gender and marketing research.

How do you feel about being included in the handbook?

It is an honor and it is very humbling. There are authors here who I get to be like “Wow, my name is on the table of contents with these people and their important research.” I really respect the editor for putting this together and giving us a voice. For my chapter, I would say that I’m not sure there is much written on post-socialist spaces, gender, and marketing. I hope my chapter provides another scholar or student of marketing with some ideas to build upon.

Why is global research important for students?

To be global citizens, to work in global industries such as marketing, students need to understand how markets, societies, governments, and international organizations are interrelated. Let’s take for example the case of post-socialist Croatia. As a result of privatization in Croatia, men and women have to work longer hours than before. What does that mean for marketers? It means that food producers adjust their products to be more friendly for quick preparation. It means positioning those new ways of shopping and eating as culturally appropriate.

Let’s move over to India. Generally speaking, the opening of the economy led to greater urbanization, more women and men in the paid workforce. This means explosive growth in men’s grooming and women’s color cosmetics sectors. Students need to understand that these massive, interrelated changes at the macro level create everyday opportunities for marketers.

How has being at Quinlan helped guide your research?

My colleagues and students in the Marketing Department are an important influence on my research. Professor Zayer is around the corner, and a lot of what I write is based off things she has written. Professor Shultz studies emerging markets and lower developed nations, so I build on his work. Professor Drenten does research on gender, so I can talk to her about that. Professor Henderson is well established in the top journals, so I can talk to her about the process. Also, Professor McGrath, who is also the department chair, is an expert in gender. With students, I’m researching gender and taboos on social media.

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