Marketing researchers discover marginalized women utilize social media to counter biased, mainstream narratives about them, promote well-being

Research from faculty at Appalachian State University examines the way in which marginalized women utilize social media to counter biased, mainstream narratives about them, thereby promoting their well-being.

Drs. Pia Albinsson and Lubna Nafees, professors of marketing and supply chain management in App State’s Walker College of Business, co-authored the article, This is Who I am: Instagram as Counterspace for Shared Gendered Ethnic Identity Expressions, along with colleagues B. Yasanti Perera and Sarita Ray Chaudhury, as part of a University of Chicago Press Journals special issue on Gender, Markets and Culture.

Related: For ‘the gram’: App State’s Dr. Lubna Nafees studies social media influencers

The research examines how stereotypes and cultural expectations pressure Western women of South Asian descent and, in turn, how these women are using Instagram as a healthy forum to challenge the stereotypes. The researchers found that, while real-world biases exist on Instagram, the women in this study were empowered by expressing themselves and their gender and ethnic identities via the platform.

Read the full paper.

About Faculty Research in the Walker College of Business

Walker College of Business faculty produce and disseminate extensive research through both academic and professional communities. In the last five years, faculty members have published approximately 400 peer-reviewed academic journal articles, 130 conference proceedings and made more than 400 conference and professional presentations in 170 different venues. In total, the faculty has produced more than 700 individual intellectual contributions in basic discovery research, more than 400 contributions in applied or integrative research and 240 contributions in teaching and learning research. For more information, visit

About Inclusive Excellence in the Walker College of Business

The Walker College of Business is committed to promoting an inclusive environment for all Appalachian business faculty, staff and students to enhance their cross-cultural and community leadership and engagement. We foster a culture that values diversity and we intentionally include people and perspectives from diverse cultures, worldviews, backgrounds, traditions and ways of life. We know that diversity takes many forms, including, but not limited to, diversity of Age, (Dis)ability, Cultural Background, Educational Background, Gender Expression, Gender Identity, Geographical Region, National Origin, Neurodiversity, Race and Ethnicity, Religion, Sexual Orientation/Sexuality, Socioeconomic Status/Social Class and Veteran Status. We believe organizations that value people from a multitude of backgrounds have a competitive advantage in global industry and that business can empower change on a grand scale when guided by just, inclusive and equitable principles. We aspire to provide a welcoming and empowering home for every business student, faculty and staff member, where all 1) value diverse perspectives, 2) acknowledge societal injustices toward marginalized groups, 3) recognize and overcome our own biases and 4) use our talents and skills to create a more inclusive and just society. Learn more at

Pia Albinsson, left, and Lubna Nafees
Published: Mar 29, 2021 12:11pm