This article examines deviant marketplace behaviors that appear in marketing systems involving subsistence consumer merchants, and their beneficial and detrimental implications. Deviant marketplace behaviors are violations of social norms that often arise among subsistence consumer merchants facing conflicting normative goals and incompatible means for meeting such goals. Social and environmental factors that exacerbate such conflicts, common in bottom-of-the-pyramid marketplaces, are explored within a deviant behavior typology. The research uses ethnographic data gathered from subsistence consumer-merchants to illustrate ways in which deviant behavior can be beneficial or detrimental and the unique challenges that partnering with subsistence consumer merchants may entail. It also provides insights into what conflicting norms and deviance engender in marketing systems.
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