Shopping for Change: Consumer Activism and the Possibilities of Purchasing Power, a book I’ve co-edited with Louis Hyman, is available now in Canada from Between the Lines and will be available everywhere else in May 2017 from Cornell University Press.
“Shopping for Change is replete with the documented beliefs that individual and collective political purchasing reduces and redirects the basic reservoir of giant corporate power—the dollars we give them that they use against the people and the planet. Read this book and shop wisely, sometimes shop less, and, increasingly, shop together for your democratic voice.”
— Ralph Nader
“Shopping for Change leaves us thinking deeply about who is responsible, and who should be accountable, for creating a more sustainable future.”
— Quill & Quire
Consuming with a conscience is one of the fastest growing forms of political participation worldwide. Every day we make decisions about how to spend our money and, for the socially conscious, these decisions matter. Political consumers “buy green” for the environment or they “buy pink” to combat breast cancer. They boycott Taco Bell to support migrant workers or Burger King to save the rainforest.
But can we overcome the limitations of consumer identity, the conservative pull of consumer choice, co-optation by corporate marketers, and other pitfalls of consumer activism in order to marshal the possibilities of consumer power? Can we, quite literally, shop for change?
Shopping for Change brings together historical and contemporary perspectives of academics and activists to show readers what has been possible for consumer activists in the past and what might be possible for today’s consumer activists.
Shopping for Change is a multi-authored collection of original articles by academics and activists on consumer activism in the United States and Canada from the Free Produce Movement of the nineteenth century to financial reform in the twenty-first.