Indirect consumer activism and politics in the market

Francesca Colli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Social movement organizations use consumer activism to mobilize public pressure and cause economic or reputational damage to their target. However, current frameworks fail to explain why organizations would use indirect consumer activism: targeting one firm to elicit change from a third party. This paper aims to explain this choice, drawing upon theories of opportunity structures to explain why groups choose to use indirect strategies. I examine three campaigns using indirect strategies: US-based Grab Your Wallet and Sleeping Giants, and UK-based Stop Funding Hate. Groups use indirect strategies to reach inaccessible targets and to mobilize the public; these strategies help social movement organizations to raise public awareness at the beginning of a campaign. I conclude with some expectations for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-267
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Movement Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • boycotts
  • campaigns
  • civil society organizations
  • consumer activism
  • social movement organizations

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