chapter  10
18 Pages

Political Consumption: Ethics, Participation and Civic Engagement


The Montgomery Bus Boycott is but one example of the use of political consumption to achieve social and political change in U.S. history (see Chapter 6 in this volume for further examples of consumption ethics in historical contexts). Other prominent examples include colonists’ boycotts of British goods during the pre-revolutionary period to protest British imperialism, women’s use of buycotts during the Progressive Era to promote fair labor conditions, the United Farm Workers’ boycotts of table-grape growers to advocate for higher wages (Friedman, 1999), and, along with many countries, the refusal to have financial dealings with South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s to protest the country’s apartheid policy (Vogel, 2006). More recently, people have used their purchasing power to advocate for civil rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community (Sverson, 2012).