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Consumers, Brands & Boycotts

From the Boston Tea Party to the Chick-Fil-A boycott, consumer activism has been used to express social values and demand change. How effective are boycotts in an era of national brand marketing?

Host Frank Stasio looks at the history, significance and efficacy of consumer boycotts with Lawrence Glickman, a professor of history at the University of South Carolina and author of “Buying Power: A History of Consumer Activism in America” (University of Chicago Press/ 2009); Thomas Jackson, associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and author of “From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Struggle for Economic Justice” (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press/2006); Caroline Heldman, associate professor of politics at Occidental College; and Sarah Hirsch a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a member of the National Student Coordinating Committee of United Students Against Sweatshops. Listener Call-in.

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.