Legitimizing Illegitimacy: Identity Spaces and Markets for Illegitimate Products



 This study focuses on the creation of markets for legal but normatively illegitimate products. I argue that markets are identity spaces dimensioned by product and status categories and examine how the use of identity makes it possible for institutional entrepreneurs to legitimize illegitimate products. Products are assigned particular horizontal positions within the market space based on the identity created by producers to categorize the product and a vertical position within their product category based on their social status. I use the market-as-identity-spaces framework to analyze the creation of a market for a new type of feature films combining comedy and pornography following the legalization of pornography in Denmark in 1969. Network analyses of the cultural content of film posters document the use of genre elements to create a new identity for these films, and regression analyses test the use of actors and actresses to legitimize the new identity.
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Dr.ir. J.C.M. van den Ende