Consumer Boycotts

Consumer boycotts have often had an important social justice role in American history. Indeed, since the Revolutionary War, it can be argued that consumer boycotts have been used more than any other organizational technique to promote and protect the rights of the powerless and disenfranchised segments of society. In fact, one scholar, James Scott, who has studied the efforts of peasants to resist oppression by using the boycott, has referred to it as a “weapon of the weak.”

Consumer boycotts are typically viewed by scholars as a market-based means to secure what may or may not be marketplace ends. In addition to common marketplace concerns such as lower prices or higher-quality goods, a number of social and political concerns have fueled these boycotts, such as environmental ...

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