Challenging the aesthetic alibi: Organizational status, animal rights movements, and the use of fur in the global fashion industry
This study examines the interplay in markets between social movement activity and organizational status hierarchies in the global high-end fashion industry. The authors consider how the contested nature of fur, coupled with differences in perceptions of status of producers within the fashion industry, is associated with whether fashion houses use fur in their collections from 2001-2010. Hypotheses are tested using a unique data set based on online and print archives. Hazard models indicate patterns consistent with response to social movement activism based on the status of the targeted houses. When activists target high-status organizations more they can amplify the appeal of a contested practice to other organizations, and fur use increases. Fur use decreases when activism targets lower-status producers, as this can highlight to other producers both the socially problematic standing of the practice and its association with lesser players in the cultural hierarchy.
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