Protest Politics in the Marketplace examines how social media has revolutionized the use and effectiveness of consumer activism. In her groundbreaking book, Caroline Heldman emphasizes that consumer activism is a democratizing force that improves political participation, self-governance, and the accountability of corporations and the government. She also investigates the use of these tactics by conservatives.
Heldman analyzes the democratic implications of boycotting, socially responsible investing, social media campaigns, and direct consumer actions, highlighting the ways in which such consumer activism serves as a countervailing force against corporate power in politics. In Protest Politics in the Marketplace, she blends democratic theory with data, historical analysis, and coverage of consumer campaigns for civil rights, environmental conservation, animal rights, gender justice, LGBT rights, and other causes. Using an inter-disciplinary approach applicable to political theorists and sociologists, Americanists, and scholars of business, the environment, and social movements, Heldman considers activism in the marketplace from the Boston Tea Party to the present. In doing so, she provides readers with a clearer understanding of the new, permanent environment of consumer activism in which they operate.
"Protest Politics in the Marketplace provides an engaging account of a large number of cases of consumer activism, analyzing them with regard to a straightforward set of democratic criteria. Caroline Heldman persuasively demonstrates that consumer activism has become a major component of American politics. This book will be very appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate courses in American government, interest groups, social movements, democratic theory, political sociology, and related fields."
-- Mark B. Brown, California State University, Sacramento, author of Science in Democracy
"Protest Politics in the Marketplace is a valuable study of contemporary consumer activism in the United States, one which is more comprehensive than any that I know of. It is an important book."
-- Lawrence B. Glickman, Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor in American Studies, Cornell University, author of Buying Power
"Heldman builds on studies by historians and sociologists to look at market activism as a political phenomenon.... A fruitful area for political science research, and her book should be widely read."
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List of IllustrationsPrefaceList of AbbreviationsIntroduction1. A Consumer Revolution?2. "We Are the 99%"3. "We Are Not a Mascot"4. "600,000 Bosses Telling Me What To Do"5. "Stop Servibng Gay Chickens"6. "Yes to Jesus Christ, No to JC"7. Who Rules?ConclusionNotes