Praise the renegade? Institutional change from a stigmatised category to high status
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The aim of the paper is to investigate an empirical case of status re-categorisation being triggered by a practice driven institutional change of professional actorhood. Status orders are crucial as they convey social meaning of the ordering of market categories. Yet, status leaps of entire categories have been rarely examined. The focus was so far mainly on status shifts of organisations within categories. In addition, this empirical case of vertical category extension also touches upon the literature on stigmatisation. Employing a qualitative approach to the case study of Australian wine, the paper introduces a form of theorisation that allowed for status re-categorisation in the context of a mature field: theorisation by non-conformity. This form of theorisation is constituted by four mechanisms: history detachment, high status category neglect, category mythification, and stigma reversal. Through these mechanisms the entire category of Australian wine could shift from stigmatised ?colonial? wine towards internationally acclaimed high status wine, avoiding resistance from powerful incumbents.