Recent theory and research have reconceptualized categories in markets and in other settings as part of the languages developed to characterize roles in a producer-audience interface. An important development in this work is the characterization of memberships in producer categories and in audiences as potentially partial. Producers often are regarded as members in a category to varying degrees, and audience members share to varying degrees in consensus about the applicability and meanings of category labels. Such partiality gives rise to fuzziness in boundaries, which has implications for the emergence and persistence of categories. A fast-developing literature has explored these implications empirically.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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