Consumer activism for social change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Consumer activism, or activism taken by consumers through participating in the market such as through boycotts or ethical shopping, is the most common form of political action in the United States aside from voting. Although consumer activism was a popular macro practice social work intervention by social work pioneers and has been an important part of many social change movements internationally, it is rarely discussed formally in the field of social work in the United States today. This article provides an overview of consumer activism as a social work intervention, describes historical and 21st century examples of consumer activism, and discusses the effectiveness of consumer activism. The article ends with a discussion of the strengths and challenges of consumer activism for social workers who engage in it either professionally or personally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-309
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Work (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 31 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Buycotts
  • Macro practice
  • Protests
  • Social action

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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