1st Edition

Consumer Boycotts Effecting Change Through the Marketplace and Media

By Monroe Friedman Copyright 1999

    Despite the increasing occurrence of consumer boycotts, little has been written about this form of social and economic protest. This timely volume fills the knowledge gap by examining boycotts both historically and currently. Drawing on both published and unpublished material as well as personal interviews with boycott groups and their targets, Monroe Friedman discusses different types of boycotts-from their historical focus on labor and economic concerns to the more recent inclusion of issues such as minority rights, animal welfare, and environmental protection. He also documents the shift in strategic emphasis from the marketplace (cutting consumer sales) to the media (securing news coverage to air criticism of a targeted firm). In turn, these changes in boycott substance and style offer insights into larger upheavals in the social and economic fabric of 20th century America.

    Introduction 1. Consumer Boycott Basics 2. Factors Affecting Boycott Success 3. Labor Boycotts 4. Consumer Economic Boycotts 5. Minority Group Initiatives: African-American Boycotts 6. Boycott Initiatives of Other Minority Groups 7. Boycotts by Religious Groups 8. Ecological Boycotts 9. Consumer Buycotts 10. Boycott Issues and Tactics in Historical Perspective Appendix A: The 1996 Consumer Protest as Seen by Its Leaders Appendix B: Boycott Observations Over Time References


    Monroe Friedman is Professor of Psychology at Eastern Michigan University. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Consumer Affairs and the Journal of Consumer Policy and is author of A "Brand" New Language: Commercial Influences in Literature and Culture (1991).

    "A must-read for students of the consumer and public advocacy movements and for action-oriented consumer and public interest advocates." -- Mary Gardiner Jones, President, Consumer Interest Research Institute and author of Electronic House Calls: 21st Century Options
    "Chronicles an important but neglected area of consumer protest activity...The most authoritative treatment of consumer boycotts by its leading expert. Consumer Boycotts should be of great interest to activists and their institutional adversaries, as well as to researchers." -- Stephen Brobeck, Executive Director, Consumer Federation of America
    "This volume is a meticulous and engaging social history of the boycott, as well as a nuanced exploration of its microdynamics. Produced by a noted scholar and consumer activist, this book is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand, launch, or resolve a boycott." -- John F. Sherry, Jr., Professor of Marketing, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University
    "At the very top of books I have read in its level of clarity...has that rare combination of being informative and entertaining. The last time I read a piece of nonfiction this well-written, I was reading a Pulitzer Prize winner...I recommend [it] most enthusiastically." -- Richard Heslin, Associate Professor of Social Psychology, Purdue University
    "Students of social and consumer movements and social change will find this an indispensable resource." -- Choice, C.M. Hand, Valdosta State University